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Android “System Update” malware steals photos, videos, GPS location

A newly discovered piece of Android malware shares the same capabilities found within many modern stalkerware-type apps—it can swipe images and video, rifle through online searches, record phone calls and video, and peer into GPS location data—but the infrastructure behind the malware obscures its developer’s primary motivations. First spotted by the research team at Zimperium zLabs, the newly … [Read more...]

Safe Connections Act could help domestic abuse survivors take control of their digital lives

A bill introduced in the US Senate could help domestic abuse and sex trafficking survivors—including those tracked by stalkerware-type applications—regain digital independence through swift, shared phone plan termination and the extension of mobile phone plan subsidies. Titled the Safe Connections Act, the bill targets the significant problem of shared mobile phone contracts between abuse … [Read more...]

How your iPhone could tell you if you’re being stalked

The latest iOS beta suggests that Apple’s next big update will include an iPhone feature that warns users about hidden, physical surveillance of their location. The feature detects AirTags, Apple’s answer to trackable fobs made by Tile, and serves to block the potential abuse of the much-rumored product. While the feature represents great potential, digital surveillance experts said that … [Read more...]

The Malwarebytes 2021 State of Malware report: Lock and Code S02E04

This week on Lock and Code, we discuss the top security headlines generated right here on Labs. In addition, we tune in to a special presentation from Adam Kujawa about the 2021 State of Malware report, which analyzed the top cybercrime goals of 2020 amidst the global pandemic. If you just pay attention to the numbers from last year, you might get the wrong idea. After all, malware detections … [Read more...]

TinyCheck: Stalkerware detection that doesn’t leave a trace

In 2019, when Malwarebytes helped found the Coalition Against Stalkerware, which brings together cybersecurity vendors and nonprofits to detect and raise awareness about stalkerware, we encountered a significant roadblock in our fight: For some users, the very detection of these potentially privacy-invasive tools could put their lives at greater risk. In short, we needed a way to detect … [Read more...]

Extortion, precision malware, and ruthless scams. Read the State of Malware 2021 report

Last year, threat actors took advantage of the COVID-19 public health crisis in a way previously considered unimaginable, not only preying on uncertainty and fear during the initial months of the global pandemic, but retooling attack methods, reneging on promises, strengthening malware, and extorting victims to the tune of $100 million—and that was without the threat of ransomware … [Read more...]

Good news: Stalkerware survey results show majority of people aren’t creepy

Back in July, we sent out a survey to Malwarebytes Labs readers on the subject of stalkerware—the term used to describe apps that can potentially invade someone’s privacy. We asked one question: “Have you ever used an app to monitor your partner’s phone?”  The results were reassuring. We received 4,578 responses from readers all over the world to our stalkerware survey and the answer was a … [Read more...]

Lock and Code S1Ep13: Monitoring the safety of parental monitoring apps with Emory Roane

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 Emory Roane, policy counsel at Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, about parental monitoring apps. These tools offer parents the capabilities to spot where their children go, read what their kids read, and prevent them from, for instance, visiting websites … [Read more...]

Lock and Code S1Ep11: Locating concerns of Bluetooth and beacon technology with Chris Boyd

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 Chris Boyd, lead malware intelligence analyst for Malwarebytes, about Bluetooth and beacon technology. Last month, cybersecurity experts warned the public about the data collection embedded in the Donald Trump 2020 re-election campaign’s mobile … [Read more...]

Stalkerware advertising ban by Google a welcome, if incomplete, step

On Friday, July 10, Google announced it would no longer allow advertising for spyware and similar surveillance technology—often referred to as “stalkerware”—on its platform. The change is a welcome step by one of the largest, most powerful companies in online advertising, but a close read of the policy reveals a potential loophole that could allow stalkerware-type app makers to still advertise … [Read more...]