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Android Users Warned of Trojanized Auto-Root Adware

4/11/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


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.

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Montash is a multi-award winning global technology recruitment business. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments across a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:

ERP Recruitment, BI & Data Recruitment, Information Security Recruitment, Enterprise Architecture & Strategy Recruitment, Energy Technology Recruitment, Demand IT and Business Engagement Recruitment, Digital and E-commerce Recruitment, Leadership Talent, Infrastructure and Service Delivery Recruitment, Project and Programme Delivery Recruitment.

Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid-management in permanent and contract roles.

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