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Fake Super Mario Run for Android Installs Malware

The Android Marcher Trojan was recently observed masquerading as the recently released Super Mario Run mobile game for Apple’s iOS, Zscaler security researchers warn.

The Android Marcher Trojan was recently observed masquerading as the recently released Super Mario Run mobile game for Apple’s iOS, Zscaler security researchers warn.

While Nintendo released the Super Mario Run mobile game for iOS device, it but didn’t make it available for Android, and cybercriminals are taking advantage of this to spread their malware to eager gamers. The same happened last year with the Pokemon GO application, when a backdoored variant emerged just one week after the iOS version of the mobile game was released.

Instead of installing a legitimate game, the so called Super Mario Run application for Android was designed to install Marcher, a sophisticated banking malware strain capable of stealing victims’ banking and credit card information. For that, the Trojan uses fake overlay pages on top of legitimate applications.

Fake Super Mario Run installs Android malware

“Once the user’s mobile device has been infected, the malware waits for victims to open one of its targeted apps and then presents the fake overlay page asking for banking details. Unsuspecting victims will provide the details that will be harvested and sent out to the malware’s command and control (C&C) server,” Zscaler says.

Once installed on a victim’s device, the Marcher malware asks for multiple permissions, including administrative rights. If a victim provides such rights, the malware can start performing its malicious activities.

Previously, the Trojan was seen targeting well-known Australian, United Kingdom, and French banks, but the new variant is aiming at account management apps and well-known banks. The new iteration was also observed presenting fake credit card pages to users once they open the Google Play store on their devices.

“The malware locks out Google Play until the user supplies the credit card information,” the security researchers warn.

However, because the banking overlay pages served by the command and control (C&C) server were not functioning properly during the analysis, the security researchers believe that the malware was still under development. The new variant also packs a new obfuscation technique, with all important string characters delimited with ‘<<zB5>>’.

“Android Marcher has been around since 2013 and continues to actively target mobile users’ financial information. To avoid becoming a victim of such malware, it is a good practice to download apps only from trusted app stores such as Google Play. This practice can be enforced by unchecking the “Unknown Sources” option under the “Security” settings of your device,” Zscaler’s researchers warn.

Related: Gugi Banking Trojan Can Bypass Android 6 Protection

Related: Improved “Marcher” Banking Trojan Targets UK

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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