Feeds

Researchers warn of preloaded spyware in Android handsets

That off-brand Chinese smartphone you bought on eBay might not be secure

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Security firm G-Data is warning users about their discovery of malware shipping preinstalled on some Chinese mobile phones.

The German researchers said that they followed up on customer tips to study the Star N9500 mobile phone. The handsets, sold on eBay and many other online retail sites, are said to primarily be shipped out of China, and can be loosely described as a clone of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

While G-Data said that it has been unable to track down the company behind the N9500, the security firm believes that one or more organizations are selling the handsets new with malware bundled in.

The company said in its report that researchers have spotted a spyware bundle on handsets being offered for sale in Europe at costs ranging from €130 to €165. The Android handsets were found to contain a fake copy of the Google Play app and the Uupay.D Android trojan installed directly in the handset's firmware.

Researchers believe that the malware performs a number of basic spyware functions such as listening in on phone and SMS conversations, reading email messages, and collecting mobile browsing information and account data.

G-Data reported that the infected handset it studied was uploading user information to a server in China, though the location of the person(s) actually extracting the data was not known.

The report comes as Android malware continues to rise. Apple boss Tim Cook recently gloated over a mobile security situation for Android he called a "hellstew" of malware.

Last week, researchers with Kaspersky noted that malware writers in Russia have been repackaging their ransomware trojans to target mobile phone users in the US.

China, which has long had a strong market for domestically produced "clone" hardware and devices, has also seen an underground market for attack tools and services arise in recent years. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.