Hackers customising Android malware based on geography

Security

by CBR Staff Writer| 21 February 2014

Android users in some places including Russia are more likely to be hit with malicious code attacks.

Cyber hackers targeting Android powered devices are turning out to be more sophisticated, as they are now customising their attacks based on the condition of the particular region, a new report suggests.

John Gamble of Lookout said in a blog that mobile threat campaigns have become increasingly targeted as the criminals that operate them have adapted their practices to maximise profit and operate in a less detectable way.

"In places where regulation is tough, they identified different ways to operate, often dropping more traditional monetisation strategies like premium rate SMS fraud and leveraging "grey area" tactics that are actually legal," Gamble added.

"A criminal enterprise which might be highly profitable while difficult to prosecute in one part of the world is often explicitly forbidden and therefore easy to prosecute in another.

"This variation forces malware developers to evolve, adapting to their particular marketplace in a similar manner to the way species of animals adapt to their environment in order to survive."

The security experts from Lookout added that criminals from Western Europe are employing different tactics to carry out SMS fraud where there are strong regulations unlike in countries like Russia, China and parts of Asia.

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