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Unwanted Ads Account for 72% of Mobile Malware: Report

Adware accounts for 72% of mobile malware, said a cybersecurity firm's report

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Software that hijacks a device in order to spam the user with unwanted ads now accounts for 72 per cent of all mobile malware. Pixabay

Adware or software that hijacks a device in order to spam the user with unwanted ads now accounts for 72 per cent of all mobile malware, says a new report from cybersecurity firm Avast.

The remaining 28 per cent consist of banking trojans, fake apps, lockers, and downloaders, according to statistics gathered by Avast’s Threat Lab experts.

The data showed that the share of adware among all Android malware types increased by 38 per cent in the past year alone.

“No one likes getting served with incessant ads; they’re often unwanted and can ruin our enjoyment of an app. They could also pose a threat to users as cybercriminals can use them as a backdoor to a device – whether it’s to make money from advertisers or steal your personal information,” Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Head of Mobile Threat Intelligence & Security at Avast, said in a statement.

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To avoid mobile malware, users should not install unnecessary apps. Pixabay

“We’ve been tracking this issue for a number of years and the increased use of mobile devices is likely fuelling its growth,” Chrysaidos said.

Adware often disguises itself in the form of gaming and entertainment apps, or other app types that are trending and therefore are interesting targets with a high potential to spread far.

These apps may appear harmless, but once they have infected a device they will surreptitiously click on ads in the background. Sometimes, adware also serves ads with malicious content.

There are two main types of adware: adware apps, which cause distraction and annoyance; and ad-fraud/ad-clickers, a more malicious type of adware.

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To prevent mobile adware attacks, users should only download apps from official app stores, like Google Play, as they have security measures in place to check apps before developers upload them, or from the app’s website directly for extra assurance, Avast recommended.

It is also important to carefully review the permissions an app requests before downloading an app. (IANS)

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Video Meeting App Zoom Prone to Hacking: Report

Zoom bug can let hackers steal your Windows password

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The video conferencing app Zoom has an unpatched bug can let hackers steal users Windows password. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Slammed for the lack of users privacy and security by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and cybersecurity experts, video meeting app Zoom is also prone to hacking, a new report has claimed, saying an unpatched bug can let hackers steal users Windows password.

The �Zoom client for Windows’ is vulnerable to the ‘UNC path injection’ vulnerability that could let remote attackers steal login credentials for victims’ Windows systems, reports TheHacckeNews.

The latest finding by cybersecurity expert @_g0dmode, has also been “confirmed by researcher Matthew Hickey and Mohamed A. Baset,’ the report said late Wednesday.

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The attack involves the “SMBRelay technique” wherein Windows automatically exposes a user’s login username and NTLM password hashes to a remote server, when attempting to connect and download a file hosted on it.

“The attack is possible only because Zoom for Windows supports remote UNC paths, which converts such potentially insecure URLs into hyperlinks for recipients in a personal or group chat,” the report claimed. Besides Windows credentials, the vulnerability can also be exploited to launch any programme present on a targeted computer.

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The Zoom client for Windows’ is vulnerable to the ‘UNC path injection’ vulnerability that could let remote attackers steal login credentials for victims’ Windows systems, reports TheHacckeNews. Pixabay

Zoom has been notified of this bug but the flaw is yet to be fixed. “Users are advised to either use an alternative video conferencing software or Zoom in your web browser instead of the dedicated client app,” said the report. Another media report claimed that Zoom doesn’t use end-to-end encryption to protect calling data of its users.

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As businesses, schools and colleges and millions of SMBs use video conferencing tool Zoom during the work-from-home scenario, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned people about porn material being popped up during the video meetings.

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The Boston branch of the law enforcement agency said it has received multiple reports of Zoom conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.

The video conferencing app late last month updated its iOS app to remove the software development kit (SDK) that was providing users’ data to Facebook through the Login with Facebook feature. (IANS)