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The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Malware Targets Android Phones

Most college students can’t function without their smartphone nearby. If it’s an Android device, there’s a malware that could make their lives miserable.

The malware, called Mazar Android Bot, is spread through a text message with a malicious link that takes over the user’s device, according to a report from ITProPortal. The text alerts the user that a multimedia message has been sent and includes a link to view the message.

The user is then prompted to download the package with the malware that bears a generic name such as “MMS Messaging” to make it look like a legitimate application.

Once downloaded, the malware alerts the attacker that a new device has been compromised. The malware can install a proxy application that lets the attacker intercept all Internet traffic on the device. It also makes it possible for man-in-the-middle attacks, which are used to steal account logins, social media credentials, and banking information.

Security experts believe the malware is of Russian origin because Mazar Bot can’t be installed on phones owned by Russians. The bad news is that as it spreads the malware is likely to evolve into new forms.

“Attackers may be testing this new type of Android malware to see how they can improve their tactics and reach their final goals, which probably is making more money,” Andra Zaharia, a security specialist at Heimdal Security, said in a report for MSN.com. “We can expect this malware to expand its reach.”

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