Faux Security Program is a RAT

Friday, August 15, 2014 @ 05:08 PM gHale

Malware acting as a security program is at the center of an attack targeting Google Android users in Europe.

An email spam campaign, found in Poland, was distributing a version of the SandroRAT with the name ‘Kaspersky_Mobile_Security.apk, said McAfee researcher Carlos Castillo.

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“The email tries to scare a user with the following subject: “Uwaga! Wykryto szkodliwe oprogramowanie w Twoim telefonie!” (“Caution! Detected malware on your phone!”), he said in a blog post.

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 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 spreading via 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 said. “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 series 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 said.

“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 said. “Whatsapp users should update the app to the latest version.”

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