Malware will always remain a major threat to the mobile ecosystem as we know it. A newly discovered type of malware targets iOS and BlackBerry backups, or to be more precise; it will target computers hosting a backup of mobile devices. In most cases, these backups do not contain the latest security updates, making them vulnerable to exploiting.
The Mobile “Backstab” Malware Attack
By going after the devices hosting a mobile OS’s backup, this new type of malware can prove to be quite a nasty one. Even though security researchers had an idea of this type of attack being made possible, it is the first time malware operates on this same principle. In fact, there are over 700 different types of this malware in circulation right now.
As you would come to expect, Windows is the most often targeted operating system to find mobile device backups. Only one certain “family” of malware is targeting Mac OS X users, although malware of this type is among the most active in circulation right now. While anti-virus tools, such as VirusTotal, will detect most of these malware attacks, not all of them are properly identified yet.
It is interesting to note his this BackStab malware attack targets iOS and BlackBerry backups specifically. Considering Android is the most popular mobile operating system, it is apparently the most difficult one to breach regarding older backups. Most backups contain sensitive information such as the user’s call history, pictures, and text messages.
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this new malware attack is there wouldn’t even be a need for root or admin access to do its dirty work. This is especially worrying for iOS users, as their backups are very rarely encrypted. However, any user with a device running iOS 9.1 should be relatively safe from harm as those backups do not contain any sensitive information.
What makes it easier for this new malware to identify iOS and BlackBerry backups on a computer is how they are always saved in the same standard directly. Android users, on the other hand, have no official desktop application to create device backups, nor would they be saved in a standard directory of some sorts.
Bitcoin Users Beware!
The number of Bitcoin users owning a BlackBerry device is fairly low, so there is no real threat in that department. However, there are a fair few iOS Bitcoin users, and it is important they upgrade their operating system to version 9.1 sooner rather than later. When they do so, they will also have to make to encrypt their backup.
Once a malware-infected backup is placed back onto the device, all kinds of bad things could happen. For mobile Bitcoin wallet users, the malware could potentially log pin codes and other security measures, and attempt to bypass them in the background. Keeping a mobile device secure is of the utmost importance for Bitcoin users, as there is no solution to this malware yet.
Source: Tweakers (Dutch)