Fotolia virus: How does it attack Android devices?

The virus reportedly targets Android users, but little is known about it. Nick Lewis discusses the mystery threat and how Common Malware Enumeration may help.

What is the virus? How does it attack Android devices?

It's difficult to look up a virus when its name is unknown. For vulnerabilities, this issue was addressed with Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures, and for malware, it was dealt with using Common Malware Enumeration (CME) identifiers.

Enterprise information security programs would benefit from tracking vulnerabilities or malware across an enterprise; however, this remains difficult as CME development continues.

This problem is evident today with the virus. Several websites reported the virus, but only a few major antimalware vendors did. This could be because other vendors called it by a different name, or because it wasn't deemed a high enough risk to devote resources to a public comment.

Several websites discuss the virus being used to display ads on infected systems, and that it could be an installed application, web browser extension or a malicious JavaScript exploiting insecure functionality in a web browser to display ads.

The attack seems to work like generic adware in the sense that, when visiting a malicious website, the website opens a new window that displays ads, and then asks the user to install a browser extension, to install applications to view the webpage or even to clean up a problem, such as fake antivirus software scams.

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