New Android Banking Trojan That Expands on ERMAC’s Legacy

A brand new evaluation of the Android banking trojan often called Hook has revealed that it is based mostly on its predecessor referred to as ERMAC.

“The ERMAC source code was used as a base for Hook,” NCC Group safety researchers Joshua Kamp and Alberto Segura said in a technical evaluation revealed final week.

“All commands (30 in total) that the malware operator can send to a device infected with ERMAC malware, also exist in Hook. The code implementation for these commands is nearly identical.”

Hook was first documented by ThreatFabric in January 2023, describing it as a “ERMAC fork” that is supplied on the market for $7,000 per 30 days. Each the strains are the work of a malware creator referred to as DukeEugene.

That stated, Hook expands on ERMAC’s functionalities with extra capabilities, supporting as many as 38 extra instructions when in comparison with the latter.

ERMAC’s core options are designed to ship SMS messages, show a phishing window on high of a professional app, extract an inventory of put in functions, collect SMS messages, and siphon restoration seed phrases for a number of cryptocurrency wallets.


Hook, alternatively, goes a step additional by streaming the sufferer’s display and interacting with the consumer interface to realize full management over an contaminated machine, capturing images of the sufferer utilizing the entrance dealing with digicam, harvesting cookies associated to Google login classes, and plundering restoration seeds from extra crypto wallets.

It could possibly additional ship an SMS message to a number of cellphone numbers, successfully propagating the malware to different customers.

No matter these variations, each Hook and ERMAC can log keystrokes and abuse Android’s accessibility providers to conduct overlay assaults with a view to show content material on high of different apps and steal credentials from over 700 apps. The checklist of apps to focus on is retrieved on the fly by way of a request to a distant server.

The malware households are additionally engineered to watch for clipboard occasions and replace the content with an attacker-controlled wallet ought to the sufferer copy a professional pockets handle.

Android Banking Trojan

A majority of Hook and ERMAC’s command-and-control (C2) servers are positioned in Russia, adopted by the Netherlands, the U.Ok., the U.S., Germany, France, Korea, and Japan.

As of April 19, 2023, it seems that the Hook mission has been shuttered, in response to a submit shared by DukeEugene, who claimed to be leaving for a “special military operation” and that help for the software program could be offered by one other actor named RedDragon till the purchasers’ subscription runs out.

Subsequently, on Might 11, 2023, the supply code for Hook is claimed to have been offered by RedDragon for $70,000 on an underground discussion board. The brief lifespan of Hook apart, the event has raised the likelihood that different risk actors might choose up the work and launch new variants sooner or later.

The disclosure comes as a China-nexus risk actor has been linked to an Android spyware and adware marketing campaign focusing on customers in South Korea because the starting of July 2023.

“The malware is distributed through deceptive phishing websites that pose as adult sites but actually deliver the malicious APK file,” Cyble said. “Once the malware has infected the victim’s machine, it can steal a wide range of sensitive information, including contacts, SMS messages, call logs, images, audio files, screen recordings, and screenshots.”


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On high of that, the malware (APK package deal title “com.example.middlerankapp”) takes benefit of accessibility providers to watch the apps utilized by the victims and stop uninstallation.

It additionally accommodates a characteristic that permits the malware to redirect incoming calls to a delegated cellular quantity managed by the attacker, intercept SMS messages, and incorporate an unfinished keylogging performance, indicating it is possible in lively growth.

The connections to China stem from references to Hong Kong within the WHOIS file data for the C2 server in addition to the presence of a number of Chinese language language strings, together with “中国共产党万岁,” within the malware supply code, which interprets to “Long live the Communist Party of China.”

In a associated growth, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed {that a} home spyware and adware firm Insanet has developed a product referred to as Sherlock that may infect units by way of on-line commercials to listen in on targets and accumulate delicate information from Android, iOS, and Home windows programs.

The system is claimed to have been offered to a rustic that is not a democracy, it reported, including a variety of Israeli cyber firms have tried to develop offensive know-how that exploits adverts for profiling victims (a time period referred to as AdInt or advert intelligence) and distributing spyware and adware.

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Author: (The Hacker Information)
Date: 2023-09-18 08:11:00

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Alina A, Toronto
Alina A, Toronto
Alina A, an UofT graduate & Google Certified Cyber Security analyst, currently based in Toronto, Canada. She is passionate for Research and to write about Cyber-security related issues, trends and concerns in an emerging digital world.


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