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Author Of Surprisingly Well-Marketed Android Malware "Dendroid" Arrested In Multi-National Cybercrime Raid

Last year, there was a rather widely-covered story about a piece of Android malware (rather, an Android malware control suite) called Dendroid. That malware was published for sale on a cybercrime-aligned forum known as Darkode, and it just so happens that the FBI (with assistance from agencies in other nations) just arrested the guy who wrote Dendroid as part of a larger raid on Darkode's operators.

That guy is Morgan C. Culbertson, who has a pretty solid real name, but somehow the most tragically boring and uninventive criminal alias of all time: "Android." Come on, Morgan - you could have done better.

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Bluebox Security Tries To Shame Xiaomi For Shipping Malware On Phones, Ends Up Shamed For Being Wrong

It's not uncommon for security firms to raise their public profile by publishing analyses of device security and vulnerabilities. However, Bluebox Security really stuck its virtual foot in its mouth this time. After posting what appeared to be a damning exposé of malware shipping on Xiaomi's Mi4 last week, the company has had to post an addendum admitting that it was fooled by a fake and Xiaomi's phones aren't shipping with malware after all. Oops.

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Google Play Books Is Crawling With Fake 'Guides' That Promise Cracked Android APKs, Provide Only Malware And Phishing Scams

We are, at this point, familiar with fake apps in the Play Store—they pop up from time to time, but Google swiftly eliminates them. It seems like for all its efforts in cleaning up the Play Store, Google has a blind spot when it comes to books. There are multiple publisher accounts in Google Play Books that claim to offer cracked APKs for a dollar or two, and people are buying them. Instead of getting a cheap game, all people are getting is disappointment and malware.

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[lolwut] Cisco's Newest App Is A Tower Defense Game With Virtual Malware That Can Only Be Stopped With Cisco Security Technology

Cisco is one of the premiere makers of networking systems in the world, but the company's newest offering in the Play Store has nothing to do with that. Well, it has very little to do with that. It's a tower defense game called Net Invaders. See, there are nasty viruses, trojans, and worms attacking your systems, and only Cisco security technology can stop them. Yes, this is really happening.

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Trend Micro Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot After Falsely Claiming That The Play Store Is Full Of Malware

Just like any open marketplace, there's a lot of crap in the Play Store. In a strange and roundabout way, I'm actually OK with that - separating the silver from the dross of Android apps is one of our core functions at Android Police. But a recent promotion from antivirus vendor Trend Micro painted an extremely dim picture of the Play Store. The company claimed, among other things, that the Play Store was full of "potentially evil doppelgangers... with many carrying malware."

Trend's report of the situation (PDF link) was chilling, reporting that 100% of the Top 10 apps in the Finance, Media & Video, and Widgets categories had fake apps associated with them, along with 90% in the Business, Music, and Weather categories.

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Controlling Masses Of Malware-Infected Android Devices Will Apparently Cost You Just $300, Lifetime Support Included! Meet Dendroid

Malware is a problem for Android, but that problem almost exclusively exists outside the confines of the safety of the Play Store. Like any platform where the sharing of pirated, cracked software occurs, if you're downloading something you didn't rightly pay for, there's a risk it might be carrying a little something "extra" you hadn't counted on being included. For the most part, this is how Android malware spreads - but what do malware distributors do once they've got a device infected?

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Well, they might buy something like Dendroid, an almost hilariously well-marketed mass device management tool you can find on some of the dark corners of the web.

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[New App] Popular Windows Anti-Malware Suite Malwarebytes Now Available On Android

According to Google, less than one hundredth of a percent of apps out there are both malicious and capable of evading the built-in defenses in both Android and the Google Play Store. But if you really feel like you need a defense from that one-in-100,000 app, a trusted name in software protection has just entered the fray. Malwarebytes, makers of the popular eponymous Windows software, is now offering its services on Android.

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The anti-malware app works on the familiar and relatively ancient principle of a scanner paired to an updated database of naughty apps. According to the company's press release, the app actively scans for "over 200 malware families" in real-time in both apps and general files.

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Google Talks Android Malware, Estimates That .001% Of Apps Evade Defenses And Harm Users

You hear a lot of reports about malware and other undesirable third-party apps these days, especially from security researchers (and people who want to sell you something to make you feel safe). It's undeniable that malicious apps are a problem on an open system, but new data from Google indicates that the amount of actual harm being done might be negligible. QZ.com reports on a presentation from Google's Android Security Chief Adrian Ludwig at the Virus Conference in Berlin. He estimates that .001% of Android apps are able to get past Google's defenses.

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That number includes both apps on the Google Play Store and 1.5 billion side-loaded or non-Play Store app installs, at least on devices that also include the Play Store and its Verify Apps feature.

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Google's Malware Scanner Introduced In Android 4.2 Moved To The Google Play Services App, Now Works On Gingerbread And Higher

Remember when Google's app verification and malware scanning service debuted with Android 4.2? No? Well, that's probably because statistically speaking, you're likely to be one of the 95% of Android users rocking 4.1 or earlier. To help address this, it looks like Google has moved the Verify Apps system to Google Play Services, which at this point should be installed on all Google Play Store-equipped Android devices running Gingerbread or higher. The change was spotted by JR Raphael at ComputerWorld.

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Verify Apps is not to be confused with the "Bouncer," Google's Play Store watchdog that keeps an eye on the included Android apps, to greater or lesser success.

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Kaspersky Researchers Discover Most Advanced Android Malware Yet

A new piece of Android malware has been discovered by security researchers at Kaspersky Labs. That by itself wouldn't be big news, but this Trojan does things no other malicious app has done. It exploits multiple vulnerabilities, blocks uninstall attempts, attempts to gain root access, and can execute a host of remote commands. Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a, as it has been dubbed, is the most sophisticated piece of Android malware ever seen.

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There are two previously unknown Android vulnerabilities exploited by Obad. The malware installer contains a modified AndroidManifest.xml file, which is a part of every Android apps. The first big vulnerability is in the processing of this file by the system – it shouldn't be processed at all, but the app installs just fine.

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