Security

March 27, 2017

Mobile Safari scareware campaign thwarted

Today, Apple released an update to iOS (10.3) that changed how Mobile Safari handles JavaScript pop-ups, which Lookout discovered scammers using to execute a scareware campaign.

The scammers abused the handling of pop-up dialogs in Mobile Safari in such a way that it would lock out a victim from using the browser. The attack would block use of the Safari browser on iOS until the victim pays the attacker money in the form of an iTunes Gift Card. During the lockout, the attackers displayed threatening messaging in an attempt to scare and coerce victims into paying.

However, a knowledgeable user could restore functionality of Mobile Safari by clearing the browser’s cache via the the iOS Settings — the attack doesn’t actually encrypt any data and hold it ransom. Its purpose is to scare the victim into paying to unlock the browser before he realizes he doesn’t have to pay the ransom to recover data or access the browser.

Lookout found this attack in the wild last month, along with several related websites used in the campaign, discovered the root cause, and shared the details with Apple. As part of the iOS 10.3 patch released today, Apple closed the attack vector by changing how Mobile Safari handles website pop-up dialogs, making them per-tab rather than taking over the entire app. We are publishing these details about the campaign upon the release of iOS 10.3.

February 16, 2017

ViperRAT: The mobile APT targeting the Israeli Defense Force that should be on your radar

ViperRAT is an active, advanced persistent threat (APT) that sophisticated threat actors are actively using to target and spy on the Israeli Defense Force.

The threat actors behind the ViperRAT surveillanceware collect a significant amount of sensitive information off of the device, and seem most interested in exfiltrating images and audio content. The attackers are also hijacking the device camera to take pictures.

Using data collected from the Lookout global sensor network, the Lookout research team was able to gain unique visibility into the ViperRAT malware, including 11 new, unreported applications. We also discovered and analyzed live, misconfigured malicious command and control servers (C2), from which we were able to identify how the attacker gets new, infected apps to secretly install and the types of activities they are monitoring. In addition, we uncovered the IMEIs of the targeted individuals (IMEIs will not be shared publicly for the privacy and safety of the victims) as well as the types of exfiltrated content.

In aggregate, the type of information stolen could let an attacker know where a person is, with whom they are associated (including contacts’ profile photos), the messages they are sending, the websites they visit and search history, screenshots that reveal data from other apps on the device, the conversations they have in the presence of the device, and a myriad of images including anything at which device’s camera is pointed.

December 22, 2016

2016 data breaches: A look back at a big year of data loss

Though we still have a little less than a month left in 2016, this year has proven to be one of the most significant years for breaches.

We dove into the data using Breach Report, Lookout’s new feature that tracks and alerts users about such incidents, to bring you a deeper look at what breaches really looked like in 2016. Of course, criminals also put name brands in their crosshairs, including Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Myspace. But we also observed a new trend out of 2016. Attackers seemed to concentrate attacks around three kinds of data: healthcare records, voting data, and credit card data.

Check out our breakdown of a year in data breaches:

December 21, 2016

Mobile threats 2016: targeted attacks, major vulns, and innovative malware

This year was a prolific one for threat actors, who focused on writing sophisticated code and building on existing threat families, and used familiar distribution techniques.

We’ve boiled down 2016 into five significant mobile threat-types that enterprises and individuals alike should know about. We look at a serious, targeted iOS threat; malware that roots victims’ devices; a particularly “risky” app; threats that put on a mask to trick individuals; and the litany of mobile vulnerabilities we saw this year.

Check out the recap of the most important 2016 mobile threats:

December 5, 2016

Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity: Prioritize mobile security now

The Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity released its report on securing and growing the digital economy  in which one message is clear: de-prioritizing mobile security is no longer an option.

New priorities for a new mobile workplace

The days of employees working only at an office using an organization-issued desktop computer fully managed by the organization are largely over. Market forces and employee demands have made “bring your own device” the de facto option in many workplaces. … Organizations no longer have the control over people, locations, networks, and devices on which they once relied to secure their data. Mobile technologies are heavily used by almost every organization’s employees, yet security for mobile devices is often not considered as high a priority as security for other computing platforms. In short, the classic concept of the security perimeter is largely obsolete.” – Excerpt from the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity report

Employees in the public sector are using mobile devices every day to get their jobs done, whether government agencies know about it or not. Today, having a secured mobile workforce — which includes protection against risky applications, network attacks, and malicious intrusions — is a necessary element of an agency’s overall security architecture.

December 1, 2016

Ghost Push and Gooligan: One and the same

You may have seen headlines about a new family of malware called “Gooligan.” This is not actually a net new malware family, but rather it’s a variant of the family “Ghost Push,” a threat first discovered in 2014. Lookout customers have been protected against this threat since then.

Google released a blog post on the threat called, “The fight against Ghost Push continues.” In it, the company reveals that is has been tracking the malware and acknowledges a problem anyone, especially enterprises, should be watching for: malware evolves and becomes more sophisticated over time.

November 22, 2016

Business travel: The mobile risks to your corporate data

The holidays bring a season heavy with travel plans. That might include your employees.

Lookout Chief Product Officer Santosh Krishnan recently published an article in Help Net Security that outlines the potential mobile risks to your corporate data while your employees are on the go.

Krishnan specifically addresses targeted attacks, such as the Pegasus malware; network attacks, such as man-in-the-middle attacks; the rare, but concerning “juice-jacking” attack, and other things to consider.

He also discusses how to keep your corporate data safe. The bottom line? Make sure you can remotely:

  • Detect and remediate mobile malware
  • Detect and remediate compromised operating systems
  • Detect and remediate network-based man-in-the-middle attacks.

Read it on Help Net Security today and share with any of your employees who may soon be headed out of town.

November 2, 2016

Trident vulnerabilities: All the technical details in one place

Today, Lookout is releasing the technical details behind “Trident,” a series of iOS vulnerabilities that allow an attacker to remotely jailbreak a target user’s device and install spyware.

In August, Lookout, in conjunction with Citizen Lab, discovered “Pegasus,” a sophisticated piece of mobile spyware used by nation state actors to surveil high-value targets. The so-called “cyber arms dealer,” NSO Group created the spyware, which, at the time, relied on the three Trident vulnerabilities to remotely and silently compromise a device. Lookout and Citizen Lab worked directly with Apple to close the holes and cripple this attack vector used by Pegasus for the compromise.

In the process, Lookout and Citizen Lab also identified a related vulnerability Mac OS, which Apple quickly patched as well.

Below you can find the full technical details behind the vulnerabilities. Want more background on the Pegasus malware? Microsoft noted in a blog, “Many security firms described it as the most sophisticated attack they’ve seen on any endpoint.” Check out our coverage of the Pegasus attack and Trident vulnerabilities, including our original technical report and analysis for CSOs and CIOs.

November 1, 2016

DirtyCow and Drammer vulnerabilities let attackers root or hijack Android devices

Two especially critical flaws that  allow an attacker to root or completely compromise a device have just been added to the litany of vulns on Android devices.

The vulnerabilities are known colloquially as DirtyCow (CVE-2016-5195) and Drammer (CVE-2016-6728). While they are unrelated, they both represent a real risk to Android users as individuals have already published proof-of-concept exploit code online for both vulnerabilities, thus minimizing the time attackers would need  to understand and develop their own exploits from scratch. Additionally, industry researchers have already seen attackers using DirtyCow  to exploit Linux-based systems in the wild.

October 10, 2016

Google Android security bulletin October 2016: remote code execution vulns continue

The October Android Security Bulletin contains 78 patches for Android devices — 23 more than last month, yet the third highest since Google started releasing the monthly patches. The release reveals more remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities, which could allow an attacker to take over a device requiring very little interaction from the victim.

Given the fragmentation of Android, and the slower patch cycles for these devices, mounting RCE issues could spell trouble for individuals waiting for patches and companies whose employees use Android devices.

This is likely one of the reasons why Google is starting to put more pressure on its partners to update Android devices more frequently.