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Android Malware Crosses Over to Windows via USB

A new piece of malware discovered by Kapersky Lab uses smart phones to install malware onto Windows-based PCs.

According to a blog post on SecureList last week, the Android-based malware was embedded in apps distributed through the Play Store. The apps, which are no longer available for download, purported to be Android system optimizers. Once executed, they downloaded three files from a specified URL containing the malware designed to execute on Windows-based systems when the phone was connected to the PC via USB.

Its purpose seems to have been to record, encrypt, and upload audio when the infected PC's mic detected sounds.

While the malware, Backdoor.MSIL.Ssucl.a, may not be not terribly sophisticated in and of itself, the approach to infecting the PC is novel, representing "a new attack vector" for Windows malware, as Kapersky's Victor Chebyshev noted in his SecureList post.

The software also contained features that affected the Android devices themselves. For example, the software could open URLs in a Web browser, upload the entire contents of the user's SD card, and steal contacts and messages, among many other capabilities, Chebyshev explained.

Complete details about the malware, including screen shots and samples of the offending code, can be found on SecureList.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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