New Android malware lurking as Obama-Romney polling app

A new malware is now targeting voters in the United States, disguised as a polling service to see if they prefer reelectionist President Barack Obama II and Republican presidential nominee Williard Mitt Romney.

Security vendor Trend Micro said it uncovered at least four such mobile apps on Google Play and some third-party app stores.

"(W)hen installed, (they) gain access to specific device information that can be used without users’ consent and may lead to data leakage," it said.

It added one of these apps was already removed from Google Play but remain available on third-party ones.

Trend Micro said the apps, which can be downloaded for free, are exploiting the upcoming 2012 US presidential election.

It said the first app called “Obama vs Romney” is detected as ANDROIDOS_AIRPUSH, and tries to connect to airpush.com, a mobile ad network site.

"We found that this app has more than 300 downloads from third party stores and an estimated 500 to 1,000 downloads from Google Play so far," it said.

Trend Micro said the app was designed as a polling service in which users can choose between the two candidates.

It is supposed to display an overall result of the poll immediately.

"However, during our testing, it ends up showing the message 'you probably want to start clicking as soon as possible,'” it said.

Also, Trend Micro said this app displays potentially annoying ads served from airpush.com that are displayed outside of the app itself.

Trend Micro said the app also contains ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION that can access information that includes the device’s GPS location.

A second app is the “Captain America Barack Obama 1.0” detected as a ANDROIDOS_ADWLEADBOLT variant, that installs a Barack Obama 3D wallpaper and US flag on the affected device.

This was already removed from Google Play but is still available on third party app stores.

"Similar to the 'Obama vs. Romney' app, it comes with the ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION, ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION and other permissions that gain access to device information like GPS location, CellID, and Wi-fi location," Trend Micro said.

Upon installation, the app also creates a shortcut in the homescreen page of the device.

So far, Trend Micro this app has been downloaded 720 times from third party app stores.

Meanwhile, the third and fourth apps are “Barack Obama Campaign LWP 1” and “Mitt Romney Live Wallpaper 1,” both detected as ANDROIDOS_ADWLEADBOLT variants.

"Both of these apps also contain ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION and ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION. Similar to the above mentioned apps, they display ads on the device. Users can prevent this ad display by clicking a specific URL and disclose certain information such as their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and device type to the said site," Trend Micro said.

But it said users will likely not notice this and opt to receive the ads.

Trend Micro advised that users read app reviews and developer’s reputation.

It also said users must make it a habit check the access that the apps require, specially if it asks for too much.

"It is not uncommon for cybercriminals to create apps that request access for information, which they can later use for their malicious activities," it said. — TJD, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post
    Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post

    After nearly a year, President Aquino finally made good his promise to a long-time ally – former Cavite governor and congressman Erineo Maliksi – to head the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), replacing Margarita Juico who resigned in May 2014. Maliksi must be officially elected by the PCSO board members as their chairman. Prior to his appointment to the PCSO, Maliksi faced graft charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged illegal purchase of P2.5 million worth …

  • US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense
    US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense

    A massive deployment of aircraft, personnel and warships characterizes this year’s Balikatan between the two allies, which war games were launched 30 years ago. Commander Lued Lincuna, Philippine Navy public affairs chief, said the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) will link  up with the US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. …

  • P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China
    P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China

    With China’s actions threatening to “considerably alter the way of doing business globally,” President Aquino will ask the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a united stand against Beijing’s massive reclamation activities and other provocative acts in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Aquino will raise the appeal to his ASEAN counterparts when they meet on April 27-28 in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia. Beijing reacted immediately to the plan, saying the …

  • OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism
    OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism

    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday backed the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), warning that failure to see the peace process through with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could open the door to extremism. OIC secretary-general Iyad Bin Amin Madani, who is in the country to rally support for the peace process and the BBL, told reporters at the Senate yesterday that the Philippines should not waste the opportunity to attain lasting peace in Mindanao, especially …

  • Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed
    Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed

    The head of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is opposing the plan of the Senate to investigate alleged “justice for sale” in the judiciary. In an interview yesterday, IBP national president Vicente Joyas contested the pronouncement of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Senate Blue Ribbon committee can probe the reported corruption in the judiciary, as it remains part of the scope of the Senate’s investigative power. “The plan of the Senate to push through with the …

  • PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view
    PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view

    The camp of Floyd Mayweather is reportedly charging the Philippine National Police P200,000 for a pay-per-view deal of his fight with Manny Pacquiao, a PNP official said yesterday. Director Danilo Constantino, the PNP’s Chief Directorial Staff, said the cost of the pay-per-view for the fight makes it difficult for the PNP to sponsor the free viewing for its personnel and their dependents at Camp Crame’s multi-purpose center. “We are currently negotiating for the pay-per-view and we ever …

  • No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP
    No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP

    There has been no disruption in the issuance of permits to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFOR) since former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima was suspended in December 2014, an official said yesterday. PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina is the one signing the PTCFOR cards, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said. Cerbo, however, could not say when Espina started signing the cards and how many PTCFORs have …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options