While some financially motivated scams may seem simple on the surface, the truth of the matter is that cybercriminals are investing large amounts of money into strategies and infrastructure to scale up their malicious campaigns. Those investments are paying off as threat actors continue to target mobile users with successful campaigns.
Nearly 500 malicious apps lurking on the Google Play Store have successfully installed Dark Herring malware — a cash-stealer intended to add sneaky charges onto mobile carrier bills — on more than 100 million Android devices across the globe.
The Dark Herring malware was found on 470 Android apps that had cleared Google Play Store standards.
Dark Herring malware was discovered by a research team with Zimperium, who estimate the amount the campaign has been able to steal totals in the hundreds of millions, in increments of $15 a month per victim. Google has since removed all 470 malicious applications from the Play Store, and the firm said the scam services are down, but any user with one of the apps already installed could still be actively victimized down the road. The apps are still available in third-party app stores too.
Consumers across the world, particularly in under-banked areas, rely on direct carrier billing (DCB) as a mobile payment method, which adds charges for non-telecom services onto a consumer’s monthly phone bill. It’s a juicy target for adversaries.
In this case, the $15 charge isn’t necessarily enough for an end user to notice it for several months, but multiplied across more than 100 million accounts, the ill-gotten gains quickly added up.
Dark Herring’s triumph was the result of a combination of savvy tactics; namely, the use of geo-targeting to deliver the application in the victim’s native language.
This campaign is exceptionally versatile, targeting mobile users from 70+ countries by changing the application’s language, and displaying the content according to the current user’s IP address. This social-engineering tactic was exceptionally successful and effective as users are generally more comfortable with sharing information to a website in their local language.
The group behind Dark Herring also managed to stand up 470 high-quality applications that passed official app store muster, which demonstrates that this is a sophisticated operation, analysts noted. The apps all functioned as advertised, and were spread over a wide range of categories.
Personal & Business Data Security is at the very heart of what we are striving to achieve at BLAKFX. We all know that data theft and cyberattacks are a tangible threat to all of our collective well-being. Business and government simply cannot operate nor thrive if the threat of theft or exposure is omnipresent.
The new era of data security is one that requires new solutions. The era of perimeter defenses is over as it is proving impossible to keep hackers from breaching the perimeter and accessing data. Further E2E encryption based on old models of RSA cryptography will be obsolete when quantum computing becomes mainstream.
Helix22 delivers perfect security assurance due to our genius engineering team that has invented a new model for data security that required an innovative look at the problem. The approach we took was to protect the data itself. Almost all other data security products try to build a perimeter or being fanatic on user credentials. However, once the product is breached or a password is stolen, even if it is 2FA or encrypted, your firms data is in the clear.
You see, the Helix22 cryptography is embedded with the data itself through our inventive and patented process of DNA BindingTM. Therefore, even if credentials are stolen the data cannot be exfiltrated. This means that all data is 100% protected regardless of the type of attack. This holds true for customer and user data as well. No theft of user information is possible.
“In Math We Trust”
We can make this claim as the tech engineers at BLAKFX invented and patented a genuine device2device (D2D) encryption. We manage data security transmission through the truly brilliant and also patented universal Helix22 key service. The Helix22 encryption originates on your network or device, not just when the app is opened. This means, that when data arrives to our key server, it is already encrypted so all it needs to do is issue another key. Signal and Telegram cannot claim this level of security. This key will then only work with the intended device, which generates a matching key required to open the data. In this protocol, we are truly a “zero-knowledge” server so your communications and transmissions remain completely top secret. Even in the event that BLAKFX were subpoenaed, we can honor the request by just handing over the encrypted content…as that is literally all we have. Helix22 also only use keys just one-time and then destroys them. This way the data security is future forward prefect. Therefore, in our unique device-to-device (D2D) world, there is no opportunity at all for any data leak.
This same protocol just described, can be the same with all your 3rd party vendors and suppliers. It does not matter in the least what platform they are running or what device they are using or even the type of data, it is all 100% protected. We do however, strongly advise that all firms involved be utilizing Helix22 due to the nature of the data content. Helix22 can ensure that whatever data they are generating is protected as well.
Let’s take it a step further. Even if your organization were a victim of an internal attack or a victim of malicious open source downloads, there is no reason for concern. Any data that has been forwarded, downloaded, copied or saved cannot be exfiltrated. Period. We have the technology industries foremost data packets which are protected with multi-layered, military grade encryption algorithms that have already proven the ability to withstand penetration testing from MI5 and quantum computing attacks.
One final practical genius of DNA BindingTM is in that it is immediately compatible with whichever system or software you are utilizing. Therefore, any organization can forward information to another and then discuss it and there is immediate privacy.
The Helix22 data security SDK accomplishes the following:
- Protects all your firms data at rest, in use and in transit
- Renders ransomware threats obsolete
- Eliminates human error
- Eliminates all malicious or interior attacks
- Verifies original content i.e. minimizes the threat of impersonation attacks and deep fakes
- Reduces latency and optimizes 5G networks
- Installs with 5 lines of code
- Runs on any platform, network, device and in any programming language
- Provides perfect future/forward secrecy
- Delivers “zero-knowledge” encryption
- Compatible with all cloud, 3rd party and vendor services
- Enables Internet of Things data security by providing protection at the Edge and has ultra low latency
- Ensures privacy and security for blockchain and all cryptocurrency transactions
- Is quantum ready – so there’s no need to upgrade when the time comes
- Requires no employee training
- Exceeds all gov’t and banking security standards
- Meets all international compliance regulations
BLAKFX is Based on Success
Our founders, Robert Statica PhD and Kara Coppa, also founded Wickr, which is used by the US military and has never been hacked since its inception in 2012. The Helix22 data security SDK is several generations enhanced since then. Dr. Statica also delivered the encryption for the world’s most secure phone, Katim.
Founder – Robert Statica PhD Founder – Kara Coppa Founder – Alex Maslov MS, MBA
Co-Founders of Wickr KatimTM Ultra Secure Smartphone
Finally, the Helix22 encryption is quantum computing ready so no need to redo all your data security methodologies in a couple of years when everything else becomes obsolete.
We like to refer to Helix22 as “22nd Century Data Security.”
Helix22 – Zero Risk