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Old android smartphones at risk of malware attack

Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - May 25, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Old android users are warned of possible risk from automatically downloaded and executed malware, as experts spotted unusual activity in a malicious script.

Latest report released by Kaspersky Lab, indicated that old Android users are at risk, and recommended to update phone or application.

According to the report, while observing the activity of several cybercriminal groups, Kaspersky Lab researchers have spotted unusual activity in a malicious script, on an infected website.

The script usually activates the download of Flash exploits, to attack Windows-users.

The script is a set of special instructions for execution in the browser, embedded in the code of the infected website.

However at some point it has been changed so it can check the type of device its victims are using, searching specifically for Android version 4 and older.

“The exploitation techniques we’ve found during our research were nothing new but borrowed from proof of concepts, previously published by white hat researchers. This means that vendors of Android devices should account for the fact that the publication of PoCs would inevitably lead to the appearance of “armed” exploits. Users of these devices deserve to be protected with corresponding security updates, even if the devices are no longer being sold at the time,” said Victor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

In order to drive-by attacks, Kaspersky Lab experts advise users to keep Android-based device software up-to-date by enabling the automatic update function.

Also, restricting the installation of applications from alternative sources to Google Play, is recommended, especially if the user is managing a collection of devices used in corporate networks.

Using a proven security solution, is also recommended such as the Security for Android and Kaspersky Security for Mobile with Mobile Device Management which are capable of detecting changes on the SD-card of device in real time, and thus protects users against the drive-by attacks.

A recent survey showed that nine out of 10 smartphones sold in the Philippines run on Android.

According to market research institute–GfK, the Philippines has the highest Android penetration rate in the six countries in the Southeast Asian region.

On average, more than 70 percent of smartphones across the region are now powered by Android.

The trend is region wide, with each country continuing to post growth when it comes to Android. This in turn spurred brisk sales of gadgets powered by this OS. — (FREEMAN)

PAUL LEE
Philstar
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