Kaspersky Lab Identifies First Targeted Attack Utilising Malware for Android Devices

Mar 26, 2013, 14:15 ET from Kaspersky Lab

ABINGDON, England, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

First serious targeted attack on mobile devices staged by Chinese-speaking authors -designed to steal contacts, messages and other information from mobile devices of Uyghur activists

Kaspersky Lab has detected a new targeted attack against Uyghur activists which, for the first time, is based on a malicious program for Android-based mobile devices. The attack is designed and performed in a similar manner as numerous other attacks on Uyghur and Tibetan activists, but instead of relying on exploit-rigged DOC, XLS or PDF documents for Windows-based computers or Macs, it targets mobile devices.

The Android malware used in the new attack steals private data from infected smartphones, including the address book and messaging history, and sends it to a command and control server. This attack is believed to be the first of this kind utilising fully functional Android malware and specifically targeting mobile devices of potential victims.

The attack took place at the end of March 2013 and started with the hacking of an email account belonging to a high-profile Tibetan activist. The attackers used this account to send 'spear-phishing' emails to his contact list. The malicious messages targeted Mongolian, Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur political activists, and had attached an .APK file containing a malicious program for Android devices. Investigation of this malware performed by Kaspersky Lab's experts revealed that it was most likely designed by Chinese-speaking authors, judging by comments in the code and certain characteristics of the command and control server.

Costin Raiu, Director, Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab comments; "Until now we have not seen targeted attacks against mobile devices in the wild, although there were signs that attackers were interested and experimenting in this field. This particular attack utilises a fully featured Trojan aimed at stealing private data from a targeted group of victims. The attackers have so far used social engineering to trick the victims into installing the app. However, we believe that in the future such attacks will exploit vulnerabilities in mobile software, or a combination of techniques."

Kaspersky Lab's protection solutions for Android-based mobile devices - Kaspersky Mobile Security and Kaspersky Tablet Security - detect and block the malware used in this targeted attack as Backdoor.AndroidOS.Chuli.a. The malware is also blocked by the new corporate solution, Kaspersky Security for Mobile, available as part of company's broad business security offering.

A detailed report by Kaspersky Lab experts is available at Securelist.com: http://www.securelist.com/en/blog/208194186/Android_Trojan_Found_in_Targeted_Attack

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the world's largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions. The company is ranked among the world's top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users*. Throughout its 15-year history Kaspersky Lab has remained an innovator in IT security and provides effective digital security solutions for consumers, SMBs and enterprises. The company currently operates in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe, providing protection for over 300 million users worldwide. Learn more at http://www.kaspersky.co.uk.

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