Malware infected copies of The Interview have been loaded on Android devices

Malware infected copies of The Interview have been loaded on Android devices
There has been no question that Sony has managed to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear with "The Interview." Originally pulled from all theaters, the combination of a limited theatrical release along with streamed versions on YouTube, Google Play and iTunes has allowed Sony to gross $15 million after four days of availability. And the media attention has assured Sony of huge DVD sales in the future.

There is a problem though, in the case of an unwanted visitor planted in some copies of the film that have been illegally downloaded on Android devices. Software security firm McAfee has partnered with both the Technische Universit├Ąt Darmstadt, and the Centre for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt in an attempt to track down this security threat that has already hit some banks in South Korea.

The malware, named Android/Badaccents, uses mobile devices to lift personal information from financial institutions, and blank out bank cards so that they can be used to steal cash from ATMs. If you're concerned, avoiding the hacked film is rather easy since it appears as an Android app. 20,000 Android devices have been infected by the trojan as of the latest count, and we have images of the app so you know what to avoid. Of course, sticking to legitimate releases of the film from iTunes, Google Play and YouTube will go a long way toward keeping your phone safe. And if that doesn't totally make you feel comfortable, there is another simple solution. Just avoid downloading The Interview on your Android phone or tablet!


source: GrahamCluley via SlashGear

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19 Comments

1. Rydsmith unregistered

So pirates are getting what they deserve? I see very little problem here. Thieves stealing from thieves.

15. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Not all people were lucky enough to be able to watch the interview. Some other people in some country can only watch the torrent version because the movie were not available in that country. BUT... For all the fools that downloading torrent with .EXE or .APK is really deserve to got a virus. They should learn that mallware come in .EXE (and .APK).

19. Bertelgeus

Posts: 126; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Beauty of Android: users of other OS's envy this kind of EXCLUSIVITY.

2. brianbrain

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

This isn't an Android issue, this is a people issue. Both fortunately and unfortunately, Android is open, and allows people to use the device as they wish. Don't install third party app stores unless you know what you're doing and trust the source. Don't download random apps from 3rd party app stores. Don't download random apps downloaded from websites. Don't pirate! If you just HAVE to fly by the seat of your pants, then use your brain. Research the 3rd party app store you are installing BEFORE installing it. Check the permissions requested for ALL applications BEFORE installing them. No app needs "device administrator" (unless it's anti-theft or anti-virus), for example. Run antivirus, because guess what, you're in the "underground" for all intents and purposes. Bring protection. Above all else: Remember that Google doesn't allow these apps to install by default. YOU are making the choice to enable applications by unknown sources, and then seeking them out online. If you get scammed, there's no one to blame but yourself.

3. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

This is a torrent. Not even a third-party app store involved. People probably shouldn't be downloading illegal torrents from unknown sources...

6. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Sideloading a torrented .apk isn't any different than getting it from a 3rd party app store. I gotta say though, you've gotta be pretty dumb to install an app thinking it's a movie and not realize that it might be malware.

16. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

This is NOT about torrent. If you see the screen shoot carefully. It's an APK apps masquerading as downloader for the interview.

4. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

It's unfortunate that this has happen, but its an Android issue, open nature is part of the platform. Any platform open or closed you can't accept the good while discarding the bad.

7. brianbrain

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Liveitup, Open is a benefit of the platform, but Google ships the phones closed by default. Similar to the little warranty sticker on your TV set, the second you flip that security toggle (peel the sticker off), you are accepting all liability from here on out. Android gives the user the power to make this decision on their own, but in the end, it is YOUR decision. Either keep it safe and don't remove the sticker, or crack things open - it's your choice, but you better known what you're doing if you chose the latter.

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Good effort! In your explanation. Having more choices mean the consumer is having more control over how they want to use their stuff or spent their money.

17. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Androids source code is made available with a license in which OEMs provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software for different purpose, certain proprietary components of Android are closed sourced in nature. Regardless of what you stated as long as a problem derives on Androids platform its a part of the OS, viruses are nothing new to Android its one of its downsides.

10. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The same thing can happen to people who go to download a movie on a Windows laptop/desktop. They click OK even though the file they think is a movie is in fact an exe. file. This is more about people not being stupid when surfing the web.

5. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Meh, the film was hardly worth the time it took to watch it. And yes, I pirated it, and I'm glad I did rather than waste $6 to watch it or $15 to buy it. If it was all that great, I wouldn't have any problem adding it to my collection of 300+ DVDs. But it wasn't. Eminem was pretty funny though...

13. willard12 unregistered

The film may not be worth it. But, potentially having my identity stolen over a $6 movie is probably worth less. To each their own.

14. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I'm not dumb enough to install apps disguised as movies.

8. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

this is a movie right? How can you get malware on it?! ... unless you're downloading an .exe or an "app"...

9. jesusnexo unregistered

apparently its an app that "downloads" the movie...

11. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Just like the "download managers" people download thinking they're getting the actual movie. They need to realize that exe. isn't an A/V file extension.

18. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

North Korea strikes back.

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