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Android Users Warned of Trojanized Auto-Root Adware

4/11/2015 by

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Security researchers are warning of a new epidemic of 20,000 repackaged apps injected with trojanized Android adware designed to root users' smartphones.

Lookout Security claimed that some of the most popular apps on Google Play including Facebook, Okta, Twitter and WhatsApp have been repackaged, injected with one of three adware families and distributed via third party app stores.

These three families—Shuanet, Shedun and ShiftyBug—are said to share between 71% and 82% of the same code, and use publicly available exploits to root the victim’s device.

ShiftyBug comes with at least eight exploits, Lookout claimed.

After rooting the device they install as a system application, making the malware almost impossible for a regular user to remove.

Rooting the device in this way could leave it exposed to other malicious applications as it effectively enables apps to bypass Android’s sandboxing capabilities, the vendor said.

The trojanized apps can be tricky to spot given that many are merely repackaged legitimate applications, which retain a full set of functionality alongside the malicious code.

The highest detection rates for the adware are the United States, Germany, Iran, Russia, India, Jamaica, Sudan, Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia, Lookout claimed.

Apart from the risk to enterprise users from having their phone covertly rooted, there’s also a reputation issue at stake for developers of some of these big name titles, the firm added.

This article has been extracted from http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com, please click on this link to read the article in full http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/android-users-warned-of-trojanized/​

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