New Android malware records ambient audio, fires off premium-rate texts, and harvests files, photos, contacts, and more

“A newly discovered strain of Android malware makes live recordings of ambient audio around an infected device,” John Leyden reports for The Register. “The RedDrop nasty also harvests and uploads files, photos, contacts, application data, config files and Wi-Fi information from infected kit. Both Dropbox and Google Drive are being used as temporary storage by the attackers.”

“Infected devices submit expensive SMS messages to a premium service, enriching crooks in the process,” Leyden reports. “Hundreds of infections related to the malware have been spotted by security firms… Enterprise mobile security firm Wandera discovered the malware.”

“Upon further investigation, Wandera discovered 53+ innocent-looking apps that front-end the malware, as well as an intricate distribution network of 3,000+ hosting locations, used to maximise reach to end-user devices,” Leyden reports. “Apps ranging from business tools to games have been contaminated to carry the malware, according to Wandera. The threat is one of the most advanced examples of Android malware Wandera has seen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Open.” In all the wrong ways.

If you stumbled here from Google with your dog-slow Android POS: Get a real iPhone.

Android malware apps with over 1 million downloads slip past Google Play defenses – twice! – September 14, 2017
How to upgrade from Android to a real Apple iPhone – August 21, 2017
Video: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at Cisco Live, blasts Android’s shoddy security – June 26, 2017
Security expert: There are several reasons why Apple iPhones are more secure than Android phones – May 31, 2017
Russian hacker gang robbed Russian banks with over one million hacked Android phones – May 22, 2017
36 widely-used Android devices ship with malware preinstalled – March 14, 2017
The cost of free: More than one million Google Android devices hit by malware – November 30, 2016
Secret backdoor in U.S. Android phones sent location, text, contact data to China – November 15, 2016
Google’s Android platform has a serious flaw – August 23, 2016
Poor man’s iPhone: Android on the decline – February 26, 2015
Study: iPhone users are smarter and richer than those who settle for Android phones – January 22, 2015
Why Android users can’t have the nicest things – January 5, 2015
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TJ” for the heads up.]


  1. It occurs to me that software security is going to have to get to the point where it is considered irresponsible and therefore illegal to use blatantly insecure, ‘LUSER’ quality software. Defining what’s ‘irresponsible’ will of course be yet-another-excuse for totalitarian BS. But when an operating system is:

    A) A massive malware magnet with consistently vast infections of millions of devices…
    B) Incapable of being updated in a timely manner, if at all, aka FragmAndroid Syndrome

    …You know Android is going to be outlawed in the future, with only masochists and sadists demanding its survival.

    Hey Google! Android is your most evil software ever.

    Yes it is! (O_o) 💩 (o_O)

    1. Android won’t be outlawed, no matter any future outcry by alarmists. It’s easy to see why:

      A) the proportion of infected Android users is less than the total installed base of iOS users (the curse of market share)

      B) upgrading to a new Android unit is cheaper and simpler than updating the OS, from the point of view of both the owner and the manufacturer

      C) Sturgeon’s Law supposes that 90% of anything is crap

      D) there are more masochists and sadists combined than rational consumers (with respect to technology usage)

      E) libertarian principles demand the availability of any product despite its fallibility or even its lethality, and libertarian notions drive politics along the whole spectrum

      1. You mean, it was all a dream? Only a dream?!

        Well, at least we can be well assured that the AI robots won’t off us all. Imagine a perfection oriented robot having to deal with the perfection averse natural world. There, now I can sleep well tonight. 😉

  2. Seems like the novice FireOS and Android users are relatively safe due to their lack of knowledge to toggle “Unknown Sources” on which would allow downloading from sites other than Google Play or Amazon.

    As usual more responsibility is placed on the user when installing Apps as a price for the freedom to choose where to download from.

  3. Apple is SO BAD! Pout. Foot stomp. I’m going buy wonderful Android and Winblows and I won’t ever post my wisdom here again – ever, ever, ever. So there. You’ll be sorry. Pout. Foot stomp.

  4. Well, I mean, stick with Google Play, which has your PSP emulator and terminal program, and you should be fine. … Devin Prater Assistive Technology Instructor

    , Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint instructor certified by World Services for the Blind


Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.