INDEPENDENT NEWS

Android banking malware whitelists itself to stay connected

Published: Mon 21 Nov 2016 12:11 PM
Symantec Security Response
Android banking malware whitelists itself to stay connected with attackers
New Android.Fakebank.B variants use social engineering to bypass battery-saving process and stay active in background
Recent variants of Android.Fakebank.B have been updated to work around the battery-saving process Doze. Variants display a pop-up message asking the user to add the threat to the battery optimisations exceptions whitelist. If this technique works, the malware stays connected to command and control servers even when the device is dormant.
Bypassing Doze
Doze is a power-saving feature in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. When a user doesn’t use an unplugged device for a period of time, the device enters Doze mode. This allows the OS to conserve battery by restricting apps' access to network and CPU-intensive services. This feature is a hurdle for banking malware running in the background and connecting to an attacker’s server to receive commands.
How the whitelisting technique works


Click for big version.
Figure 1 Code responsible for triggering Battery Optimisations exceptions whitelist pop-up
The permission required to fire this intent is REQUEST_IGNORE_BATTERY_OPTIMISATIONS which is classified as normal. Marshmallow’s dynamic permission model defines permissions as either normal, dangerous, and above dangerous. Permissions determined as normal are approved automatically and cannot be disabled through appinfo permissions.
The intent causes a pop-up message to appear, as shown in Figure 2. Users may be tricked into allowing the threat to bypass Doze’s restrictions if the malware poses as a legitimate app.
Figure 2 Malware prompt claims that the app is called “Chrome” and requests whitelisting
Mitigation
Symantec recommends users follow these best practices to stay protected from mobile threats:
• Keep your software up to date
• Do not download apps from unfamiliar sites
• Only install apps from trusted sources
• Pay close attention to the permissions requested by apps
• Install a suitable mobile security app, such as Norton, to protect your device and data
• Make frequent backups of important data
Protection
Symantec and Norton products detect the threat discussed in this blog as Android.Fakebank.B.
For more information visit the Symantec Security Response blog post available here.

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Next steps for Auckland light rail
By: New Zealand Government
Gender pay gap unchanged since 2017
By: Statistics New Zealand
Stuff pulls pin on media companies' joint ad-buying business
By: BusinessDesk
Transdev to Acquire Auckland And Wellington Bus Businesses
By: Transdev
Twyford's choice: NZTA or Super Fund for Auckland light rail
By: BusinessDesk
A whole term of Government with no shovels in the ground
By: New Zealand National Party
Transport Agency welcomes next steps for light rail
By: NZTA
Light rail delay creates highway opportunities
By: Automobile Association
Government taking action to close gender pay gap
By: New Zealand Government
Genter delaying pay equity for publicity stunt
By: New Zealand National Party
Gender Pay Imbalance - call for PM to take action
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Persistent gender pay gap - need for Govt to move faster
By: NZEI Te Riu Roa
Opportunity to fix the gender pay gap in tertiary sector
By: Tertiary Education Union
Government must take the handbrakes off, deliver equal pay
By: Public Service Association
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media