Dr.WEB, Russian developer of information security software, has warned users about a new Trojan for Android that can intercept inbound short messages and forward them to criminals. Android.Pincer.2.origin poses a serious threat because stolen messages can contain sensitive information such as mTAN codes which are used to confirm online banking transactions.
The Trojan, discovered by Doctor Web’s analysts several days ago, is a second representative of the Android.Pincer malware family. Like its predecessor, this malicious program is spread as a security certificate that supposedly must be installed onto an Android device. If a careless user does install the program and attempts to launch it, Android.Pincer.2.origin will display a fake notification about the certificate’s successful installation and will not perform any noticeable activities for a while.
To be loaded at startup, the Trojan will make sure that its process -CheckCommandServices – will be run as a background service.
If at some point Android.Pincer.2.origin is launched successfully at startup, it will connect to a remote server and send it information about the mobile device, including:
Device’s serial number
Cell phone number
Default system language
Availability of the root account
After that, the program awaits instructions that contain commands in the following format: “command:[command]”. The following directives can be sent to the malware by criminals:
start_sms_forwarding [telephone number]- begin intercepting communications from a specified number
stop_sms_forwarding – stop intercepting messages
send_sms [phone number and text] – send a short message using the specified parameters
simple_execute_ussd – send a USSD message
show_message-display a message on the screen of the mobile device
set_urls – change the address of the control server
ping – send an SMS containing the text ‘pong to a previously specified number
set_sms_number-change the number to which messages containing the text string ‘pong’ are sent
The command start_sms_forwarding is of particular interest since it allows attackers to indicate the number from which the Trojan needs to intercept messages. This feature enables criminals to use the Trojan for targeted attacks and steal specific messages, for example, those received from banking services and containing mTAN codes or other messages containing sensitive information.
Dr.Web anti-viruses for Android successfully detect Android.Pincer.2.origin and pose no threat to devices protected by Doctor Web software.