Newly discovered Android StrandHogg vulnerability exploited by malware

The people have spoken these are the year's best Android apps and games

"Promon identified the StrandHogg vulnerability after it was informed by an Eastern European security company [Wultra] for the financial sector (to which Promon supplies app security support) that several banks in the Czech Republic had reported money disappearing from customer accounts". Lookout said that criminals used variants of the notoriously risky money-stealing application known as bankbot.

"StrandHogg (...) uses a weakness in the multitasking system of Android to enact powerful attacks that allows malicious apps to masquerade as any other app on the device". Promon is asking the vulnerability "StrandHogg", an previous Norse time period for the Viking tactic of raiding coastal areas to plunder and maintain folks for ransom. The time that the new threat has been around for is considerable, Bakken notes: " Consumers and app developers alike were exposed to various types of fraud as a result for four years. Researchers of Promon Security have found that the vulnerability is capable of infecting most of the Android versions including the latest version Android 10. The vulnerability exploits the multitasking process of the operating system. This means that, even while using a legitimate app, victims could be activating malware that shows phishing pages or asks for permissions that give cybercriminals unauthorized access to their device. "The vulnerability also allows an attacker to masquerade as almost any app in a highly believable manner", they noted. Google's been good at rooting them out and removing them, but it is an ongoing battle, the researchers say.

In a statement, Google said: "We appreciate the work of the investigators, and has suspended the application of potentially unsafe they are identified". Google Play Shield detects and blocks malicious apps, together with ones utilizing this system.

- Permissions asked from an app that shouldn't require or need the permissions it asks for.

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Typos and mistakes in the user interface.

Promon's chief technology officer welcomed Google's response, as he said many other applications that could potentially be exploited through spoofing bug. In addition, now, at least 36 examples of malware attacking the vulnerability as far back as 2017 have been identified-some being variants of the notorious Bankbot Trojan.

The malware sample analyzed by Promon didn't reside on Google Play but had been installed via "dropper apps/hostile downloaders" that are distributed on Google Play.

Readers are once again reminded to be highly suspicious of Android apps available both in and outside of Google Play. "The vulnerability also allows an attacker to masquerade as almost any app in a highly believable manner".

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