Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Malware & Threats

Mobile Users Targeted With SandroRat Posing as Security Software

An attack targeting Google Android users in Europe with a new variant of a remote access tool has taken an ironic twist – the malware at the center of it is posing as a legitimate security program.

According to McAfee researcher Carlos Castillo, an email spam campaign was spotted in Poland distributing a version of the SandroRat with the name ‘Kaspersky_Mobile_Security.apk.

An attack targeting Google Android users in Europe with a new variant of a remote access tool has taken an ironic twist – the malware at the center of it is posing as a legitimate security program.

According to McAfee researcher Carlos Castillo, an email spam campaign was spotted in Poland distributing a version of the SandroRat with the name ‘Kaspersky_Mobile_Security.apk.

“The email,” he explained in a blog post, “tries to scare a user with the following subject:

“Uwaga! Wykryto szkodliwe oprogramowanie w Twoim telefonie!”
(“Caution! Detected malware on your phone!”)

In the body of the message, the email claims a bank is providing the security software as a means to help customers detect malware targeting mobile transaction numbers (mTAN). Mobile transaction numbers are used to authenticate online banking transactions. Rather than an edition of security software from Kaspersky Lab however, the recipient of the email is actually getting malware. In Germany, the malware is being spread using SMS text messages.

“Spam campaigns (via SMS or email) are becoming a very popular way to distribute Android malware, which can steal personal information or even obtain complete control of a device with tools like SandroRAT,” Castillo noted. “This attack gains credence with the appearance of a bank offering security solutions against banking malware, a typical behavior of legitimate banks.”

SandroRat turned up in hacking community forums last year, and its source code is for sale on the Internet.

Once on the phone, the malware can execute a number of commands, including stealing information such as SMS messages and contact lists and intercepting and recording phone calls.

“A novel functionality of this threat is its ability to access the encrypted Whatsapp chats (available in the path /WhatsApp/Databases/msgstore.db.crypt5 on the SD card) and obtain the unique encryption key using the Google email account of the device to get the chats in plain text and store them in the file waddb.sr,” Castillo noted.

“This decryption routine will not work with Whatsapp chats encrypted by the latest version of the application because the encryption scheme (crypt7) has been updated to make it stronger (using a unique server salt),” he added. “Whatsapp users should update the app to the latest version.”

Written By

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.

Cybercrime

Chinese threat actor DragonSpark has been using the SparkRAT open source backdoor in attacks targeting East Asian organizations.

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Application Security

Electric car maker Tesla is using the annual Pwn2Own hacker contest to incentivize security researchers to showcase complex exploit chains that can lead to...

Malware & Threats

Cybercrime in 2017 was a tumultuous year "full of twists and turns", with new (but old) infection methods, a major return to social engineering,...

Malware & Threats

Norway‎-based DNV said a ransomware attack on its ship management software impacted 1,000 vessels.

Cybercrime

Security researchers with Juniper Networks’ Threat Labs warn of a new Python-based backdoor targeting VMware ESXi virtualization servers.