Adware Flare-Up Calls into Question Android’s Ability to Ensure App Security

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Nov 22, 2015 06:00 pm PST

Applications should be equipped with appropriate security to ward off threats to devices

In the latest blow to Android’s security credentials, security researchers have found new strains of malware that cannot be removed, some of which are proving immune to factory resets.

This Trojan Adware hides inside clones of popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, well positioned to aggressively serve ads to the device. Legitimate apps have been taken apart and repackaged to include malware before they are distributed through third party app stores. Some of the apps are little more than shells for ads, but others will work properly as they compromise the device’s integrity.

Tom Lysemose Hansen, founder and CTO of Norwegian security specialists, Promon, commented on the attacks :

“As this is only the most recent chapter in an unfolding saga of compromising attacks made to Android devices, it is beginning to look as though the ease of access that once stood in Android developers’ favour could now be its Achilles Heel. This partly comes down to a lack of adequate PEN testing before applications are uploaded to the app store. To safeguard against external threats, instead each individual app should be fitted in advance with sufficient security, which is in turn verified by a third party to ensure its legitimacy.

“Apple had effectively operated under this model since the recent news of their app store’s hack, however, given the model’s current instability, it has never been more important for developers to ensure apps’ security from the first instance by equipping them to deal with present and future threats.”

According to Hansen, the automated monthly patches promised by Android manufacturers and software developers are an insufficient response to malware attacks :

“Any attempt to patch vulnerabilities is a reaction, rather than a proactive step to protect devices. While patches may secure Android devices from recognised threats, future incursions on security remain unaccounted for. Dealing with these threats in real time is the crux of maintaining adequate security for your mobile device and can only be achieved through the use of self-defending apps.”

[su_box title=”About Promon” style=”noise” box_color=”#0e0d0d”]promonTraditional security systems such as antivirus, antispam and antimalware are outdated and no longer able to protect companies and users against security threats and cyber-crime. Promon provides full protection for applications against existing and new malware threats. Promon’s patented method for detecting and blocking security threats against applications enables self-protected apps allowing users risk-free utilisation of a potentially unprotected computer, tablet or mobile telephone. Promon is a Norwegian company with its head office in Oslo.[/su_box]