Archive for the ‘General’ Category

SearchLee redirect on macOS/iOS

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

In a recent move, an ill-famed Mac malware gang has unleashed a new browser hijacker that constantly forces hits to searchlee.com.

Once again, Macs are in the crosshairs of bad actors who keep piggybacking on a surefire web traffic monetization scheme through aggressive redirects. This rising campaign involves a predatory application that takes over a victim’s default browser to push SearchLee, a rogue service mimicking a garden-variety search provider. The resulting page contains nothing but a search box and a few technicalities in the footer such as the privacy policy and terms of use. Although at first blush it doesn’t seem harmful at all, there are pitfalls lying beneath the external normality. First off, you aren’t likely to ever visit searchlee.com unless you test malware like we do, or unless your Mac has been infiltrated by a virus that’s wreaking havoc with all things web surfing.
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Taicheetee.com: inner workings of the Android virus

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Taicheetee.com keeps opening new tabs in Chrome on an Android device Android users are on the receiving end of a virus campaign that promotes the Taicheetee.com site by spawning incredibly annoying pop-ups and browser tabs.

Dirty traffic monetization schemes are a thorn in the side of numerous smartphone users who suddenly find themselves entrapped in a rabbit hole of Chrome and Safari browser redirects and pop-up ads that won’t seem to stop. The foul play with Taicheetee.com and URLs at its heart typifies this dynamically escalating cybercrime trend. It manifests itself through the random emergence of one or several new tabs in the Android version of Google Chrome. This activity gets particularly conspicuous when the device is unlocked after a relatively long period of inactivity. In this case, the site in question is sprinkled all over the browser and the user has quite a bit of tab closing work to do. (more…)

Conti ransomware jumps on the data leak hype train

Friday, September 18th, 2020

Conti ransomware, a spinoff and likely heir of the infamous Ryuk, has recently launched a data dump website to take its extortion tactic to the next level.

Conti.News leak site listing files stolen from a victimThis move fits the mold of the ongoing trend of pressuring victims into submitting a ransom. As before, this harmful code is being served via TrickBot, a modular banking Trojan that exhibits malware loading properties. It used to be that the Trojan would deploy the Ryuk ransomware as the final-stage payload.

According to security researchers, Ryuk isn’t being promoted this way since July 2020. Instead, criminals associated with the TrickBot malware distribution network switched to pushing the Conti ransomware.

Conti is a new Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform with limited cybercriminal audiences. It has hired seasoned crooks to spread the file-encrypting threat. The operators get their cut from ransom payments and give the rest to ne’er-do-wells who execute a successful extortion attack.

As per statistics derived from the ransomware identification service “ID Ransomware”, Conti infections have been steadily growing since mid-June 2020. Meanwhile, the propagation of Ryuk has taken a nosedive ever since. The overlapping of these two opposite trends proves the theory that the Ryuk group is now plaguing enterprise networks with the Conti ransomware. (more…)

What You Need to Know About Starting Your Own Online Business

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

Starting Your Own Online Business Have you been thinking about starting an online business? Maybe you want an extra source of income or more freedom and flexibility with your time. Creating a successful online business from scratch is inexpensive and you can do it regardless of your educational or professional background. Don’t waste more time focusing on what could fail, for you have an opportunity to make unlimited income with a well-crafted online business.

Here are a few tips that will help you make the first steps into online entrepreneurship:

Find a Good Niche

Due to the low barriers to entry into the online business space, there is plenty of competition. The digital world is full of smart and determined entrepreneurs who will stand at nothing to make their ideas a success. How will you stand out from the crowd and make money with your online business?

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Chinese Authorities Seize Ransomware Creators distributing WannaCry Copycat for Android

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Chinese Police caught a pair of young people who spread a type of SLocker Android ransomware virus that was modified to resemble WannaCry, another ransomware that stretched around the globe in the course of May infecting Windows users.

The two arrests happened in the beginning of June just several days after infosec specialists from Tencent and Qihoo 360 had discovered initial virus attacks.
Ransomware virus was masked to look like a plugin for widespread and trendy Chinese mobile game called King of Glory.

This WannaCry copycat was derived from a recent version of the SLocker ransomware, an Android virus type which has lately been seen a renaissance in the first Quarter of 2017.

Law enforcement representatives stated the ransomware authors managed to infect around one hundred user devices. The ransomware effect was minimal since its creators didn’t possess the expertise and knowledge required for massive distribution. The pair of criminals utilized hyperlinks on Chinese discussion boards and community forums to distribute their fake Kings of Glory plugin.

Ransomware authors had a number of opsec slipups and failures which led them to arrests.

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MTR: Turning the page

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Guys & Girls, all MTR readers – as you might have noticed, I haven’t been writing for MTR for a while already. So at this point, I would like to announce that I will no longer be able to write new articles for this blog any more.

MTR has been a successful project for me. I exchanged a lot of knowledge, found many friends all over the world and started my own cool Android project with a guy who I met here in this blog.

I am moving to a new exciting position in my company where I will need to keep focused on the higher level picture of IT trends, which includes the mobile world but is not limited to it. I am also highly devoted to my app, Su-Preme MPA, which is supposed to see its first full version released very soon. Thus, to avoid spreading myself too thin, I decided to cease my work on Mind The Robot.

However, this by no means should be the end of MTR itself!

First of all, I will keep the blog hosted and up and will try to answer your comments as often as I can.

Second, if you feel like writing an Android article for MTR, I will be happy to give you an account so you can post it. The blog currently has about 700-800 visits per day so your article will definitely be seen. Just contact me at ivan@mindtherobot.com.

Again, thanks for all your feedback, your comments and everything.

Sincerely yours,
Ivan @ MTR

Su-Preme MPA: The first demo video of my first app!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Check out the first demo vid of Su-Preme MPA – my first Android app to be released on the market in few days!

MPA is a sample based music production app that mimics the look and feel of a classic analog device that is widely popular among urban music producers.

I’m proud to say that MPA is not a toy. We really mean it to be used by actual music producers to make actual beats.

The app was co-designed and will be promoted by Alaric “Supreme” Wilder of Wu-Tang Clan fame. He also did the video!

Android Hacks: Scan Android classpath

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Why scan the classpath? There are various patterns that are often used in enterprise Java applications that require scanning of classpath and getting the list of all classes that are present in the application.

For example, if you want to discover all classes with a certain annotation (such as @Component in Spring Framework) to process them in a special way, you need a way to go over all classes in your application and select some of them based on which annotations they have.

However, neither Java SE nor Android have built-in facilities to safely get the list of all classes in your application in runtime. The reason for that is the theory behind classloaders in Java – the ability to go over all classes is neither needed in classic OOP nor feasible for all theoretically possible classloader implementations. However, in practice, scanning classpath and discovering the classes you need is quite possible in most cases, both in your web app and on Android. This is always going to be more or less a hack, but if it has been useful in web applications, it can also be useful in Android apps – with some caution, of course.

Thus, in this article I will show and explain a piece of code that does exactly that – scans your classpath and gives you the ability to go over all classes in your app.

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Business Android: Enterprise APIs missing in the platform

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

My definition or, rather, my perception of an enterprise mobile app is generally the following:

  • The app in question is a mobile client for a multi-user client-server application. It can either be the only kind of client for the app, or co-exist with a web interface or, for example, a PC desktop client for the same server app.
  • It has a “serious” user interface – rather than trying to impress the end-user with a slick, non-typical UI, it aims to be as straightforward and predictable as possible. It tends to have various forms, charts, trees and lists of various complexity.
  • Conceptually, very often a big part of the app is dedicated to managing (CRUDing) a set of entities such as users, documents, reports etc. Domain models can get quite complex, often with tree-like structures, fine-grained user permissions with different access levels and profiles.
  • Internally the app uses typical client-server protocols like SOAP, XML-RPC or even CORBA. Often in-house protocols and frameworks are used on top of those generic ones or instead of them. You get the picture.

Enterprise apps might not seem to be the most interesting kind to work on. However, they are attractive for many studios because customers usually pay well for them. In addition, as a developer, you will find that they are often challenging to implement – at least with functional and internal quality that will satisfy both the customer and you.

In this article, I would like to cover a list of typical facilities that Android developers need when developing such kind of apps. The platform does not really have that much to offer (as we will see), and many developers build their own ad-hoc frameworks that they try to reuse as needs arise.

I will share some thoughts that I have about that, and will be happy to know your stories too.

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Android Architecture: Message-based MVC

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

How do you separate application state, user interaction logic and data presentation in your Android apps?

Platform designers did not enforce any high-level application architecture framework upon us but left us enough options to implement our own solutions based on application requirements and scale. Most simple applications will get away with just storing data in their widgets (such as in text fields, spinners etc.) and their state manipulation right in event handlers such as OnClickListener‘s. However, if you are going to write a complex application or plan to sophisticate your simple app further, you should really think how to layer it well so that the architecture supports adding new features and satisfies the expected performance, flexibility, responsiveness and other requirements, and your code does not become a mess.

In this article, I will show you one practical approach to dividing application code into three layers according the MVC paradigm and connecting the view to the controller using the Android messaging framework. I used it in my own code and although it might not be 100% academically correct or applicable for every possible app, I love the benefits it gives to me as my app grows more and more complex.

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