Mobile malware from the Xiny family of Android Trojans are capable of infecting the processes of system applications and of downloading malicious plug-ins into the infected programs, Doctor Web researchers warn.
These threats, researchers say, have been designed to download and delete various programs from the compromised systems, functionality that requires root privileges. Once they achieve the required privileges, the Trojans can silently download and install software onto devices, while also being capable of displaying annoying advertisements.
The Android.Xiny Trojans emerged in March 2015 and are being distributed through popular websites, and even official application stores. These malicious programs have an immutable APK file, an innovative mechanism for ensuring that the Trojan cannot be deleted, Doctor Web researchers say.
The most recent improvement the Android.Xiny Trojans have received, however, is the ability to inject themselves into system applications, which allows them to launch various malicious plug-ins. One of the threats that includes this functionality is Android.Xiny.60, which extracts several malicious components (/xbin/igpi; /lib/igpld.so; /lib/igpfix.so; and /framework/igpi.jar) from its resource folder and copies them to system directories soon after installation.
The malware uses the igpi module (detected as Android.Xiny.61) to inject the igpld.so library (Android.Xiny.62) into the system application processes of Google Play (com.android.vending) and Google Play Services (com.google.android.gms, co.google.android.gms.persistent). Moreover, the malicious module can be injected into Android’s Zygote process, researchers say.
After infecting the Zygote process, Xiny.62 can track the launch of any new applications and can inject the igpi.jar malicious module (Android.Xiny.60) into them. The module is also injected in the system processes of Google Play and Google Play Services applications after they have been infected.
This modus operandi isn’t new, as it was previously observed being employed by the Triada Android Trojan detailed earlier this year. Because the Zygote process contains system libraries and frameworks that almost all apps use and is a template for each new app, and because it could enter this process, Triada was able to run in each application on the device.
The malicious igpi.jar module was designed to download plug-ins and launch them in the infected environment. It is also capable of sending various information about the device to the command and control (C&C) server: IMEI, IMSI, MAC address of the network adapter, OS version, mobile device model, current system language, and application package name.
The malicious plug-ins would work as part of the infected app, with disastrous results, depending on the infected process, researchers say. It can download the software-installation module into the Google Play process, can intercept and send messages when infecting a messenger, and can infect a banking program to “steal confidential information, such as logins, passwords, credit card numbers, etc., and even covertly transfer money to cybercriminal-owned bank accounts,”
The good news, researchers say, is that no distributions of these malware modules have been observed as of now. However, cybercriminals could create them at any time, which could result in massive attacks fueled by these Trojans.
Related: Tordow Android Trojan Gets Root Privileges for New Attacks
Related: Triada Trojan Most Advanced Mobile Malware Yet: Kaspersky