New Delhi, Dec 20 : Kaspersky Lab experts have discovered a modification of the mobile banking Trojan, Faketoken that can encrypt user data. Disguised as various programs and games, including Adobe Flash Player, the modified Trojan can also steal credentials from more than 2,000 Android financial applications.
To date, the modified Faketoken has claimed over 16,000 victims in 27 countries, with most located in Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Thailand.
The newly added data-encryption capability is unusual in that most mobile ransomware focuses on blocking the device rather than the data, which is generally backed-up to the cloud. In Faketoken's case, the data including documents and media files such as pictures and videos is encrypted using an AES symmetric encryption algorithm that can, in some cases, be decrypted by the user without paying a ransom.
During the initial infection process, the Trojan demands administrator rights, permission to overlay other apps or to be a default SMS application often leaving users with little or no choice but to comply. Among other things, these rights enable Faketoken to steal data both directly, like contacts and files, and indirectly, through phishing pages.
The Trojan is designed for data theft on an international scale: once all the necessary rights are in place, it downloads a database from its command and control server containing phrases in 77 languages for different device localizations.
These are used to create phishing messages to seize passwords from users' Gmail accounts. The Trojan can also overlay the Google Play Store, presenting a phishing page to steal credit card details. In fact, the Trojan can download a long list of applications for attack and even an HTML template page to generate phishing pages for the relevant apps. Kaspersky Lab researchers uncovered a list of 2,249 financial applications.
Intriguingly, the modified Faketoken also tries to replace with its own versions application shortcuts for social media networks, instant messengers and browsers. The reason for this is unclear as the substitute icons lead to the same legitimate applications.
"The latest modification of the Faketoken mobile banking Trojan is interesting in that some of the new features appear to provide limited additional benefit for the attackers. That doesn't mean we shouldn't take them seriously. They may represent the groundwork for future developments, or reveal the ongoing innovation of an ever-evolving and successful malware family. In exposing the threat, we can neutralize it, and help to keep people, their devices and their data safe," said Senior Malware Analyst Kaspersky Lab, Roman Unuchek.
Kaspersky Lab advises Android users to take the following steps to protect themselves against the Faketoken Trojan and other malware threats like ensure all data is backed-up, don't automatically agree to hand over rights and permissions when an app asks you to do so think about what is being asked for, and why you are being asked for it and install an antimalware solution on all devices and keep OS software up-to-date.
Kaspersky Lab has detected several thousand Faketoken installation packages capable of encrypting data, the earliest of which dates back to July 2016. Kaspersky Lab products detect all modifications of the Faketoken malware family.