Mike Szczys · Jun 4, 2013 at 05:30 am

Sound-Triggered Malware Could Rickroll Rooms Full of Infected Androids

How do you know if your handset is infected with malware? You might not be able to tell until after it’s triggered. And this particular trigger method is very interesting. You know how Google Now listens for you to say the word “Google” to initiate a voice search? Malware might know the same trick. An infected device could be just waiting to hear the right thing before taking action.

This white paper (PDF) from a group of student researchers envisions an “annoyance attack” in a movie theater. Infected phones may be waiting for sound from one of the movie trailers, at which point they would take themselves off of silent mode and start ringing. But the traditional tricks used by malware, like botnet initiated denial of service attacks, still ring true.

If you’re not excited about reading research papers, take a look at the article Darlene Storm published on the subject. She references some examples of real-world malware apps and the mayhem they caused.  In this research case, the thing to focus on is the trigger mechanism. The authors point out that security measures are getting better all the time, making it harder for malicious software to phone home or receive commands from a central server without being detected. By using the array of sensors on a modern smartphone, they can be activated in a multitude of different ways—audio, video (camera or light sensor), vibration, or magnetic—without raising the hackles of the security apps. Of course, the answer is to make sure the malware doesn’t make it onto your device in the first place.


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!

Mike Szczys

szczys is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Mike Szczys is a professional musician but spends all his free time working with hobby electronics. As Contributing Editor for Hackaday.com he became interested in Android as some of the early hardware hacks started popping up on the Internet. What followed was a gradually rising addiction to all things Android. View szczys's posts and articles here.
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Jul 5, 2015 at 11:00 am · 2 comments

Sunday Debate: Which Factors Caused HTC’s Woes?

Join us in a fun Sunday Debate on HTC's situation. Come with your opinions and feel free to read some of our thoughts, then pick your side or play devil’s advocate to get your voice heard and engage in friendly discussion. You can read our food-for-thought or jump straight into the fray below!     HTC is underperforming, and there isn’t much of a way of denying this. In April, their revenue nearly declined 40%, plummeting after the HTC One M9 had...

XDA NEWS
Mathew Brack · Jul 4, 2015 at 05:07 pm · 4 comments

HTC’s New Ad Campaign And What It Really Means

HTC has just released three new blind test adverts comparing app loading speed, audio and selfies. Whilst you are surely astounded that HTC won every time, the tests were incredibly biased and their release shows something concerning about the company and how they are performing in the current market.     One of the many reasons companies tend to utilize blind trials is when they feel that their product is comparable or better than its competitors. This leads to the assumption...

XDA NEWS
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Jul 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm · 5 comments

XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (June 27 – July 4)

Apps are at the front and center of any smartphone experience, and with over a million apps on the Google Play Store and new apps being submitted to our forums every day, staying up to date on the latest apps and games can be a hassle. At XDA we don’t discriminate apps - if it’s interesting, innovative, original or useful, we mention them. The XDA Portal Team loves apps too, and here are our top picks for this week.  ...

XDA NEWS
Share This