Soniac was one of the three apps found on Google Play, according to a blog post published Thursday by a researcher from mobile security firm Lookout. The app, which had from 1,000 to 5,000 downloads before Google removed it. Soniac had the ability to record audio, take phones, make calls, send text messages, and retrieve logs, contacts, and information about Wi-Fi access points. Google ejected the app after Lookout reported it as malicious. Two other apps—one called Hulk Messenger and the other Troy Chat—were also available in Play but were later removed. It’s not clear if the developer withdrew the apps or if Google expelled them after discovering their spying capabilities. The apps are all part of a malware family Lookout calls SonicSpy.
Once installed, SonicSpy apps remove their launcher icon to hide their presence and then establish a connection to the control server located on port 2222 of arshad93.ddns[.]net.
The researcher said SonicSpy has similarities to another malicious app family called SpyNote, which security firm Palo Alto Networks reported last year. The name of the developer account—iraqwebservice—and several traits found in the apps’ code suggest the developer is located in Iraq. Additionally, much of the domain infrastructure associated with SonicSpy has references to that country. The phrase “Iraqian Shield” appears constantly. Lookout is continuing to follow leads suggesting the developer is based in that part of the world.
A Seoul district court has ordered the arrest of Samsung’s chief Lee Jae-yong. He is accused of bribing Choi Soon-sil, the main person of interest in ongoing corruption scandal that has gripped South Korea. ( Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images )
Seoul District Court has ordered the arrest of Samsungs’ head honcho chief Lee Jae-yong. He is accused of bribing Choi Soon-sil, the main person of interest in ongoing corruption scandal that has gripped South Korea. ( Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images )
The arrest concerns the bribery and embezzlement charges against Lee, which also form part of a wider corruption scandal that has led to – the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. The arrest will allow prosecutors to hold the vice president chairman for 20 days.In a brief statement, Samsung reiterated that the company’s daily operation will not be affected by the latest development and stressed that it will continue to defend itself against the charges.
Lee has been investigated for his ties with Choi Soon-sil, the president’s confidante and the primary person of interest in the corruption scandal. She is being labeled as the South Korean version of Rasputin for her influence over President Park.
Prosecutors allege that Lee donated $37.3 million to several organizations backed by Choi in exchange for her support for the merger of two Samsung companies, Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries. The merger, which is worth $8 billion, was eventually approved by the country’s National Pension Services
There is also claim that Lee sponsored the equestrian career of Choi’s daughter, which effectively dragged the name of two Samsung executives as possible suspects, as they also serve in the Korea Equestrian Federation.
In the meantime, mentor of Samsung scion seen stepping up after Lee’s arrest. Although business at flagship Samsung Electronics is moving along, huge decisions will need to be made and the man most likely to be called upon to make them is Choi Gee-sung, the top lieutenant at Samsung Group and a mentor to Lee.
According to a report by Instrumental, the aggressive design strategy of cramming the biggest possible battery into the smallest possible frame is what caused the Galaxy Note 7 to explode. The large battery inside a 5.7-inch device with all the other features, including a separate slot for the S Pen to fit in, has reportedly been the cause of these explosions. To fit the large battery, Samsung left virtually no space (less than 0.1mm in some places) around the circumference, when the company ideally should have left a 10 percent gap for the battery to expand over time. The compression of the battery thanks to the stress of being placed in pockets, alongside the natural swelling, is reportedly the driving factor causing many Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units to catch fire. Samsung lost billions from the recall.