New cyberthreats are cropping up left and right, affecting organizations across all industries. This week, malicious software capable of circumventing Android's latest operating system's security features was discovered.
Kaspersky Lab announced its cybersecurity researchers have found a malware – a modified Trojan – that bypasses Android's security features, which were created to prevent phishing and ransomware attacks. In the press release, the organization explained this modification of the Gugi banking Trojan forces mobile phone users to allow permission for it to create an overlay screen, enabling it to conduct a number of activities, including sending and viewing text messages and making phone calls.
Unsuccessful security features
When the Trojan infiltrates the system, Kaspersky said, it does so through social engineering: The malware guides a user to click on an infected link, then later prompts the individual to give it access by requesting permission for "additional rights needed to work with graphics and windows." The smartphone user doesn't have much choice, as the Trojan presents only one option, which is to allow it.
"This malware bypasses the very kind of security features that were designed to prevent it."
The Wall Street Journal reported that, globally, Android is the primary mobile OS, accounting for almost 80 percent of the market. The source also added that an Android spokesperson was not available for comment.
"Cybersecurity is a never-ending race," Kaspersky Senior Malware Analyst Roman Unucheck stated. "OS such as Android are continuously updating their security features to make life harder for cybercriminals and safer for customers. Cybercriminals are relentless in their attempts to find ways around this, and the security industry is equally busy making sure they don't succeed."
Preventing phishing, ransomware and other cyberattacks
The security firm suggested users of Android phones be proactive in their attempts to defend themselves against this malware, as well as other of its kind. Some of the recommended steps include being cautious about automatically granting rights and permissions to a mobile app when prompted, not clicking on links in messages that come from unknown parties and installing antimalware software on every digital device possible.
This incident is just one example of the broader threat of cybercriminals. As hackers continue to become more sophisticated in their tactics and schemes, it is up to businesses to take the preventative and proactive measures needed to mitigate risk and defend critical infrastructures. In addition to investing in the latest tools, systems and technologies, corporate executives should also prioritize cybersecurity training and awareness programs. At The National Cybersecurity Institute, we offer a wide range of specialty courses that prepare individuals to pass IT certification exams, such as the (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).