A new octo-banking Trojan is spreading in the Google Play Store via fake apps

A new octo-banking Trojan is spreading in the Google Play Store via fake apps

Tech Highlights:

  • Exobot is also likely said to have paved the way for a separate descendant called Coper, that was initially discovered targeting Colombian users around July 2021, with newer infections targeting Android users in different European Countries. “Coper malware apps are modular in design and include a multi-stage infection method and many defensive tactics to survive removal attempts,” Cybersecurity company Cyble noted in an analysis of the malware last month. Like other Android banking trojans, the rogue apps are nothing more than droppers, whose primary function is to deploy the malicious payload embedded within them. The list of Octo and Coper droppers used by multiple threat actors is below –

  • A handful of rogue Android apps that have been downloaded more than 50,000 times from the official Google Play Store are being used to target banks and other financial institutions. Octo, the rental banking trojan, is reported to be a rebrand of another Android malware named ExobotCompact, which is a “light” version for its Exobot predecessor, according to a report provided with The Hacker News by Dutch mobile security firm ThreatFabric.

These apps, which pose as Play Store app installer, screen recording, and financial apps, are “powered by inventive distribution schemes,” distributing them through the Google Play store and via fraudulent landing pages that purportedly alert users to download a browser update. The droppers, once installed, act as a conduit to launch the trojans, but not before requesting users to enable the Accessibility Services that allow it a wide breadth of capabilities to exfiltrate sensitive information from the compromised phones.

The findings come close on the heels of the discovery of a distinct Android bankbot named GodFather — sharing overlaps with the Cereberus and Medusa banking trojans — that has been observed targeting banking users in Europe under the guise of the default Settings app to transfer funds and steal SMS messages, among others.

Octo, the revised version of ExobotCompact, is also equipped to perform on-device fraud by gaining remote control over the devices by taking advantage of the accessibility permissions as well as Android’s MediaProjection API to capture screen contents in real-time. The ultimate goal, ThreatFabric said, is to trigger the “automatic initiation of fraudulent transactions and its authorization without manual efforts from the operator, thus allowing fraud on a significantly larger scale.”

On top of that, a new analysis published by AppCensus found 11 apps with more than 46 million installations that were implanted with a third-party SDK named Coelib that made it possible to capture clipboard content, GPS data, email addresses, phone numbers, and even the user’s modem router MAC address and network SSID. Found this article interesting? Follow THN on Facebook, Twitter  and LinkedIn to read more exclusive content we post.

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