Angry Birds, Monkey Jump Apps Malware

Beware of third party developed Angry Birds!  They could be dropping malware onto your smartphone.  Popular mobile games are being illegally copied and repackaged with malicious code designed to steal personal information or perform other functions, according to a ComputerWorld quoting a study due to be released soon from Lookout Mobile Security.

As part of its “App Genome Project” study, Lookout examined applications in two alternative Android application marketplaces aimed at Chinese speaking users.  11% of the applications were knock-offs and stuffed with additional code.  One of the most commonly cloned applications is Monkey Jump.  It isn’t immediately clear what some of the code does in those tampered-with applications does, but there are a few possibilities, such as creating a botnet or sending text messages to premium rate numbers.  Other possibilities are that the applications are used to sign up to pay by click advertising schemes, with the profits channeled to miscreants rather than the legitimate publisher.

In December, Lookout discovered a piece of Android malware called “Geinimi” that contained functions similar to botnet code designed for a PC, communicating with a command-and-control server which issued commands to phones remotely, such as to install or uninstall software.  Since that time, Lookout has discovered many more variants, indicating that hackers are still actively working on its code. 

On the bright side, the App Genome Study has also found that developers seem to be more aware of security and privacy issues.  The number of apps in both the Android Market and Apple’s App Store that access a person’s location and contacts info has gone down.  “We believe that is due to the fact that developers are becoming more educated about privacy,” Hering said. “Developers are starting to be privacy- and security-conscious for their users.”


HBGary Magenta RootKit?

According to Crowdleaks, HBGary has been working on a very advanced rootkit for the government codenamed Magenta.  This development effort was revealed among the many emails recently posted to RapidShare by the group “Anonymous”.  Magenta is a new breed of windows based rootkit, which HBGary refers to as a “multi-context” rootkit.

It is virtually undetectable, 100% assembly language and is injected into kernel memory where it seeks out an active process/thread context to inject itself into via an APC (Asynchronous Procedure Call). Once the APC fires in the new process context, the body of the rootkit is executed.  Finally, magenta will move itself to a new location in memory and automatically identify one or more new activation PROCESS/THREAD combination’s to queue one or more additional activation APC’s into. It intends to move around in memory a lot.

The Magenta rootkit will search for and execute imbedded command and control messages by finding them in physical memory on the compromised host.  It is apparently “trivial to remotely seed C&C messages into any networked windows host” even with full firewalling enabled. 

I realize that HBGary does contract development work, and has expertise in the malware industry, but if this allegation is true, their credibility is in doubt and their products must be viewed as suspect.  I hesitate to label them a malware developer, but if it smells like fish, it probably is sushi.