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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...]

Mobile Menace Monday: Android Trojan raises xHelper

Back in May, we classified what we believed was just another generic Android/Trojan.Dropper, and moved on. We didn’t give this particular mobile malware much thought until months later, when we started noticing it had climbed onto our top 10 list of most detected mobile malware. Henceforth, we feel a piece of mobile malware with such a high number of detections prompts a proper name and … [Read more...]

A week in security (August 12 – 18)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we took a look at the potential pitfalls of facial recognition technology, looked at ways domestic abuse survivors can secure their data, and explored the education threat landscape. We also kicked off a series looking at the Hidden Bee infection chain, and put QxSearch installs under the spotlight. Other cybersecurity news Android malware plays hide and seek: … [Read more...]

Data and device security for domestic abuse survivors

For more than a month, Malwarebytes has worked with advocacy groups, law enforcement, and cybersecurity researchers to deliver helpful information in fighting stalkerware—the disturbing cyber threat that enables domestic abusers to spy on their partners’ digital and physical lives. While we’ve ramped up our detections, written a safety guide for those who might have stalkerware on their … [Read more...]