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malware

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Some Android devices from ZTE, Archos, and others shipping with 'Cosiloon' malware

ZTE is currently fighting with the US government to lift a trade ban, while federal intelligence committees accuse the company of spying on US consumers. It looks like ZTE might be in even more trouble, as pre-installed malware has been found on several phones from the company. Avast Software has released details about the 'Cosiloon' malware on its blog, which has also been found on devices from Archos, Prestigio, and others.

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Kaspersky details super-advanced 'Skygofree' Android trojan

Security firms spot new malware variations all the time, but most of them aren't very sophisticated. They don't have to be to spam ads or track your location. However, the newly identified Skygofree is in a completely different league. According to Kaspersky, this piece of malware possesses features never before seen in the wild.

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Cryptocurrency mining malware "Loapi" capable of physically damaging phones

Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have identified a family of modular Android malware dubbed "Loapi," which is capable of mining the Monero cryptocurrency, inundating users with advertisements, automatically subscribing the user to paid services, and participating in DDoS attacks, among other functions. The cryptocurrency mining module maintains a load sufficiently high enough to cause physical damage to a test device after two days—the above photo shows a device which overheated to the point the battery bulged.

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Toast overlay being used by malicious Android apps to install additional malware

Recently, Google has notified developers of apps that use Accessibility features for purposes other than helping users with disabilities to cease using those APIs or otherwise unpublish their app. The impetus for this move appears to be existence of (now removed) apps in the Play Store which use Accessibility features in conjunction with a vulnerability patched as part of the September security update to install malware.

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Google's Play Protect didn't catch obfuscated malware with up to 20 million installs on the Play Store

At this year's I/O, Google announced Play Protect, a user-facing security screening process for apps on Android phones based on the old Verify Apps. Basically, it scans apps you install, comparing their content against known malware components, and notifies you if any potential risks are found. And it turns out, it's not infallible, as an older "packed" malware package was able to trick it. 

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CloudFlare, Google, and others teamed up to take down WireX botnet distributed in ~300 apps on the Play Store

On August 17th, a botnet that would later be named WireX struck the 'net, DDoSing a handful of CDNs and content providers. Cloudflare just revealed the details of the DDoS and the fight against it in a recent blog post. Researchers at the company as well as other affected organizations were able to combat the botnet by determining the source, which was primarily found to be Android devices running malicious applications, some of which were distributed by the Play Store. Google was then notified, and hundreds of offending applications were removed from the Play Store.

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After a short hiatus, BLU phones are back on Amazon

Earlier this week Amazon took some of the low-budget manufacturer BLU's phones off the retailer's digital shelves, following allegations that BLU had included spyware in its products. It seems to have been a false alarm, though, as today BLU has announced in a tweet that Amazon is back to stocking its phones. Customers looking to pick up a cheap and capable phone can again purchase them at the US' biggest online merchant. 

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Amazon suspends sales of BLU phones due to alleged spyware, BLU denies wrongdoing

BLU is one of many low-end phone manufacturers, known for its dirt-cheap unlocked Android phones. But back in November, a security firm discovered spyware on some BLU phones sold in the United States, prompting Amazon to stop selling the affected devices until the issue was resolved.

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Play Store v7.8 prepares to add pre-registration rewards, settings for Instant Apps, Play Protect, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

The Play Store has just been updated to version 7.8 as of this morning, at least for some people. This release brings a couple of small changes to the interface and a few bigger changes in preparation for the future. Google has added a little reminder note to get people back on track with automatic updates, meanwhile it has also removed a toggle on some devices that gave users a choice about whether icons should be added to the home screen for newly installed apps. (But don't worry, that's conditional.) On the teardown front, we can see big signs of progress for Instant Apps, a move toward branding the malware scanner, and a clue that pre-registering for apps may finally be worth something besides a reminder notification.

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Security firm Check Point says millions infected with botnet malware via Play Store

The conventional wisdom is that limiting your app downloads to the Play Store will help you avoid malware. That's true for the most part, but every now and then we hear about something sketchy that fell through the cracks. For instance, the security firm Check Point says that a number of "game guide" apps in the Play Store were hiding malicious code, and they may have accumulated millions of downloads.

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