After some searching, I found some other similar infected apps that were being distributed from the Google Play Store.
After I started tracking these infected apps, two things struck me – how rapidly they became popular and the comments in the user review sections.
Checkpoint says it has found one million accounts compromised by Gooligan.
Malware intended to boost advertising revenue and app ratings on the Google Play store could potentially infect 74 percent of Android devices, according to security researchers.
Nicknamed "Gooligan," the malware uses a phishing scam to steal authentication tokens for Google accounts, allowing it to download fake apps to the users' Android phones and tablets without their knowledge, according to Checkpoint Security.
Gooligan's primary motivation appears to be monetary. Its creators likely receive payment when the apps it downloads promote themselves by using the hijacked Google account to leave fake positive reviews and simulate tapping on ads.
There is no evidence that Gooligan is accessing any user data from hijacked accounts, according to Google. The company wrote in a blog post that it is aware of other similar malware—it calls the genre "Ghost Push"—and is working with Checkpoint to investigate and protect users.
Ghost Push affects older Android Ice Cream, Jelly Bean, KitKat, and Lollipop mobile operating systems, but they are found on 74 percent of Android devices.
Checkpoint says it has found one million accounts compromised by Gooligan; 57 percent are in Asia, 19 percent in the Americas, 15 percent in Africa, and 9 percent in Europe. Its team created a tool to check if your account has been compromised, as well as a list of apps known to be affected by Gooligan.
The apps appear to be mostly junk utilities and games, with names like WiFi Enhancer, Perfect Cleaner, and Puzzle Bubble-Pet Paradise.
Gooligan is one of many strains of Ghost Push malware to surface. The Android security team has been tracking the Ghost Push family since 2014, and last year found more than 40,000 apps associated with it. In addition to Gooligan, there are potentially more than 150,000 similair malware strains, Google said. Each time it finds one, it revokes the stolen authentication tokens and notifies users that their accounts have been breached.
That's a whopping 1425 per cent profit margin. Security strategist Matthew Rosenquist says chasing businesses is the "next evolution" of ransomware. "[Cerber] now attempts to stop database processes running on the target system so it can encrypt the data," Rosenquist says. "This is a significant shift in focus from consumers to businesses, which typically run databases containing important operational data. "When database files are open and in use by software, they cannot easily be encrypted." It may not be the first to target businesses. The Register has been told of private ransomware variants sent to a limited number of highly-target organisations that encrypt very valuable databases and documents, demanding ransoms topping tens of thousands of dollars for the supply of decryption keys. Rosenquist warns administrators to be on alert for databases abruptly stopping which could signal Cerber is starting its encryption run. It appears there is no method to decrypt Ceber-encrypted files since an update to the malware rendered CheckPoint's decoding tool ineffective. Security engineers are continually working to find a dwindling pool of implementation and side-channel vulnerabilities to help decrypt files encrypted with high quality ransomware. The problem has this year been formalised into the NoMoreRansom alliance which unifies a formerly scattered and silo-ed, but furious effort by malware researchers to lay ruin to scores of ransomware variants, leaving a scant few including the latest Ceber, Cryptxxx, and Cryptowall unbroken. Victims who cannot decrypt their ransomware infections should also try Trend Micro's continually updated decryption tool. ® Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management
The server then had the ability to bypass so-called network address translation protections that shield individual devices inside a network.
Trend Micro has found 3,000 such apps in all, 400 of which were available through Play. Enlarge "This malware allows threat actors to infiltrate a user's network environment," Thursday's report stated. "If an infected device connects to an enterprise network, the attacker can either bypass the NAT device to attack the internal server or download sensitive data using the infected device as a springboard." The report continued: The malware installs a SOCKS proxy on the device, building a general purpose tunnel that can control and give commands to the device.
It can be used to turn devices into bots and build a botnet, which is essentially a network of slave devices that can be used for a variety of schemes like distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks—which have become an increasingly severe problem for organizations worldwide—or spam email campaigns.
The botnet can use the proxied IP addresses also generated by the malware to create fake traffic, disguise ad clicks, and generate revenue for the attackers. Google representatives didn't immediately respond to e-mail seeking comment for this post. Trend Micro's report comes three weeks after researchers from separate security firm Checkpoint said they detected 40 DressCode-infected apps in Google Play. Trend said that only a small portion of each malicious app contained the malicious functions, a feature that makes detection difficult.
In 2012, Google introduced a cloud-based security scanner called Bouncer that scours Play for malicious apps.
Since then, thousands of malicious apps have been detected by researchers.
This raises a question: if outside parties can find them, why can't Google find them first?
reader comments 53 Share this story In a US federal civil rights lawsuit, a Connecticut man has shared footage to bolster his claims that police illegally confronted the pedestrian because he was filming one of them.
Authorities seized Michael Picard's camera and his permitted pistol, and the officers involved then accidentally recorded themselves allegedly fabricating charges against the man. Picard's police encounter began as he was protesting a sobriety checkpoint while lawfully carrying a handgun in a holster. The plaintiff often protests near sobriety checkpoints in the Hartford region and is known by locals and police in the area, according to court documents. "Cops Ahead: Keep Calm and Remain Silent," read the 3-foot-by-2-foot sign Picard held up to motorists ahead of the checkpoint in West Hartford last year. According to the lawsuit, trooper John Barone walked up to Picard and said "someone called in" a complaint about a man "waving a gun and pointing it at people." It's a claim the lawsuit alleges is fabricated.
The lawsuit also states that Barone "swatted" the digital camera out of Picard's hands and onto the ground, at which point the battery dislodged.
Barone seized Picard's pistol and "took the handgun permit out of Picard's pants pocket," according to the suit. Enlarge Michael Picard/YouTube The officer briefly walked away to a patrol car, and Picard picked up his camera, inserted the battery and began filming again, according to the suit. "It's illegal to take my picture," the officer is overheard saying on the video. "No, it isn't," Picard replies. "It's illegal to take my picture. Personally, it is illegal," Barone says before taking the camera. "I got the camera," he tells fellow officers. The officer next put the camera on the light bar on the roof of a patrol car, pointed skyward.
It was still running.
There likely would be no lawsuit without the footage, Picard's lawyer told Ars. According to the lawsuit: "Unbeknownst to the defendants, Mr. Picard had been using the camera to record video and audio, not still photographs, and the camera continued recording until it was returned to Mr. Picard." After taking the camera, Barone started speaking with fellow troopers Patrick Torneo and John Jacobi, according to the tape and the federal lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The trio didn't know this conversation was being recorded.
After the brief encounter, Picard was given back his device, but not before he received two citations the lawsuit claims are unjustified. According to the footage, when Barone checks to see if Picard has a permit for his weapon, he finds out from somebody on the radio that it's "valid." On the tape, you hear a big "ugh" from Barone, who seems upset that Picard is lawfully carrying a weapon. The officers want to know if the lieutenant in the area has "any grudges" against Picard.
Barone is next overheard saying that we "Gotta cover our ass." The officers then allegedly plot other charges. Jacobi: "So, we can hit him with reckless use of the highway by a pedestrian and creating a public disturbance...." Barone: "Yeah." Jacobi: "[That's] two tickets." Trooper Torneo is overheard on the footage saying they could "claim" that motorists complained about a man waving a gun "but that no one wanted to stop and give a statement." The tickets Picard got were for the alleged use of a highway by a pedestrian and for allegedly creating a public disturbance for carrying an “exposed loaded sidearm in plain view of passing motorists." The authorities eventually dismissed the tickets. Picard's attorney, Dan Barrett of the ACLU, said his client likely wouldn't have much of a case without this video evidence. "It would be very tough," the attorney told Ars. "It's not always the way police say it is." How did the camera—and the unexpected footage—end up back with Picard? According to the suit: After Mr. Picard had been given the tickets, defendant Torneo drove away from the scene with Mr. Picard’s camera still on the light bar of his cruiser.
It fell onto the hood of the car, and Torneo stopped and instructed defendant Jacobi to give the camera back to Mr. Picard. Jacobi did so. The suit claims violations of Picard's First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights.
Connecticut state police said they opened an internal investigation into the matter.
The Connecticut State Police Union said the lawsuit is "frivolous and will ultimately be dismissed." Listing image by ACLU