#467 July 5, 2016 – Hummingbad Attacks Android

This week’s headline story: Hummingbad Attacks Android

android_malwareNew malware named Hummingbad, has targeted and infected over 85 million Android devices. Researchers have tied the malware to Yingmob, a Chinese advertising and analytics company. Once it successfully infects and sets up a rootkit on Android devices (giving it full administrative control), Hummingbad generates as much as $300,000 a month for Yingmob through fraudulent app installs and ad clicks. Not only that, but by infecting thousands of new devices each day, Yingmob can then use those devices in a botnet, enabling the group to launch more targeted attacks against businesses and government agencies, or even sell the access it has gained on the black market. This is the first example of a supposedly legitimate organization investing in malware development as a business tool to sustain and grow the company.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Zuckerberg Funds Andela To Train Elite Developers Across Africa [NewsFactor]
    Several years ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife Priscilla Chan created a limited liability company named ChanZuckerberg with the goal of “advancing human potential and promoting equality.” This week ChanZuckerberg made its first major investment in a young startup company called Andela. Andela aims to train highly skilled software developers across Africa who can then work remotely for companies around the world. The two-year-old company, raised $24 million in Series B funding led by the ChanZuckerberg initiative.

in Information Security News…

  • Millions of Health Records Appear for Sale on Dark Web [NewsFactor]
    A hacker on the dark web, using the name “thedarkoverlord,” is offering to sell a database with more than 9.3 million patient records for 750 Bitcoins, valued at around $485,000. The hacker’s market listing claimed the plaintext data belonged to “a large insurance healthcare organization in the United States.” No healthcare organization has yet confirmed the loss of the data.
  • White Hat Hacker Nabs Database of Terror Suspects [NewsFactor]
    A database containing the names of people suspected to be involved in terrorism and organized crime has been obtained by a white hat hacker who is deciding what to do with it. The records belong to World-Check Risk Screening, an organization that helps clients screen for heightened-risk individuals and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks. That includes details about people and organizations suspected to be involved in money laundering, organized crime and terrorism.

and in Tech Industry News…

and finally,

  • Cyborg locusts with tattooed wings can sniff out bombs [Engadget]
    Researchers from the Washington University in St. Louis have found a new use for locusts. A three-year $750,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research, is enabling the researchers to implant electrodes into the insects brains, tattoo the bugs’ wings with biocompatible silk, and strap on little transmitter backpacks, transforming the big bugs into bomb-sniffing robots. The robobugs can be driven like a drone, and their highly sensitive antennae used to sniff out bombs much more accurately than robots in use today.

 

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