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We found yet another phone with pre-installed malware via the Lifeline Assistance program

We have discovered, yet again, another phone model with pre-installed malware provided from the Lifeline Assistance program via Assurance Wireless by Virgin Mobile.  This time, an ANS (American Network Solutions) UL40 running Android OS 7.1.1.   After our writing back in January—”United States government-funded phones come pre-installed with unremovable malware“—we heard … [Read more...]

A week in security (April 13 – 19)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we looked at how to avoid Zoom bombing, weighed the risks of surveillance versus pandemics, and dug into a spot of WiFi credential theft. Other cybersecurity news: Malware creeps back into the home: With a pandemic forcing much of the workforce into remote positions, it’s worth noting that a study found malware on 45 percent of home office networks. (Source: … [Read more...]

Lock and Code S1Ep4: coronavirus and responding to computer viruses with Akshay Bhargava

This week on Lock and Code, we discuss the top security headlines generated right here on Labs and around the Internet. In addition, we talk to Akshay Bhargava, Chief Product Officer of Malwarebytes, about the similarities between coronavirus and computer viruses. We discuss computer virus prevention, detection, and response, and the simple steps that consumers and businesses can take today to … [Read more...]

Android Trojan xHelper uses persistent re-infection tactics: here’s how to remove

We first stumbled upon the nasty Android Trojan xHelper, a stealthy malware dropper, in May 2019. By mid-summer 2019, xHelper was topping our detection charts—so we wrote an article about it. After the blog, we thought the case was closed on xHelper. Then a tech savvy user reached out to us in early January 2020 on the Malwarebytes support forum: “I have a phone that is infected with the … [Read more...]

Malwarebytes Labs releases 2020 State of Malware Report

Malwarebytes Labs today released the results of our annual study on the state of malware—the 2020 State of Malware Report—and as usual, it’s a doozy. From an increase in enterprise-focused threats to the diversification of sophisticated hacking and stealth techniques, the 2019 threat landscape was shaped by a cybercrime industry that aimed to show it’s all grown up and coming after … [Read more...]

United States government-funded phones come pre-installed with unremovable malware

A United States–funded mobile carrier that offers phones via the Lifeline Assistance program is selling a mobile device pre-installed with not one, but two malicious applications. Assurance Wireless by Virgin Mobile offers the UMX U686CL phone as their most budget conscious option. At only $35 under the government-funded program, it’s an attractive offering. However, what it comes installed with … [Read more...]

The little-known ways mobile device sensors can be exploited by cybercriminals

The bevy of mobile device sensors in modern smartphones and tablets make them more akin to pocket-sized laboratories and media studios than mere communication devices. Cameras, microphones, accelerometers, and gyroscopes give incredible flexibility to app developers and utility to mobile device users. But the variety of inputs also give clever hackers new methods of bypassing conventional mobile … [Read more...]

Stealthy new Android malware poses as ad blocker, serves up ads instead

Since its discovery less than a month ago, a new Trojan malware for Android we detect as Android/Trojan.FakeAdsBlock has already been seen on over 500 devices, and it’s on the rise. This nasty piece of mobile malware cleverly hides itself on Android devices while serving up a host of advertisements: full-page ads, ads delivered when opening the default browser, ads in the notifications, and even … [Read more...]

A week in security (October 28 – November 3)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we celebrated the birth of the Internet 50 years ago, highlighted reports about the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filing a case against stalkerware developer Retina-X, issued a PSI on disaster donation scams, looked at the top cybersecurity challenged SMBs face, and provided guidance to journalists on how they can defend themselves against threat … [Read more...]

300 shades of gray: a look into free mobile VPN apps

The times, they are a changin’. When users once felt free to browse the Internet anonymously, post about their innermost lives on social media, and download apps with frivolity, folks are playing things a little closer to the vest these days. Nowadays, users are paying more attention to privacy and how their personal information is transmitted, processed, stored, and shared. Nearly every … [Read more...]