Investigating what at first seemed like increased activity on the part of the previously reported Android rat tool and TeleRATwe identified an entirely android rat tool malware family that has been spreading since at least August In Marchits source code was made available android rat tool free on Telegram hacking channels, and as a result, hundreds of parallel variants of the malware have been circulating in the wild. One of these variants is different from the rest — despite the freely available source code, it is offered for sale on a dedicated Telegram channel, marketed under the name HeroRat. It is available in three pricing models according to functionality, and comes with a support video channel.
New Telegram-abusing Android RAT discovered in the wild
The practice of selling such a malware package targeting Android is so common it has a pet name among security researchers: After distributing the infected app, Dendroid’s RAT customers can monitor the spread of their infection via web based tools. RAT infected Android devices can be remotely zombified by the perpetrator, allowing virtually unlimited access to photos, data and messages on the device.
The Dendroid RAT provides full access to infected devices’ camera and microphone, and can place calls or listen in on a user’s phone conversations or text messages.
Distributing Dendroid is easy because, as a report by security firm Lookout stated, “it looks as if Dendroid was designed with evading Play Store security in mind. Dendroid-infected Android apps are designed to be smart enough to avoid executing their malware code while being run in emulation by Google’s Bouncer scanning process.
Malware is Android’s primary exclusive app Most malware is incentivized by commercial activity, often by presenting ads or spreading spyware that can harvest valuable marketing data. In addition to these, Dendroid also offers to earn its keep as a tool for generating massive Denial of Service attacks across the population of its infected devices. A report by Lucian Constantin for IT World cited Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender as saying that “Dendroid is a much improved remote access tool that is definitely aimed for commercial purposes,” adding that “Although it roughly does the same as Androrat [an older Android RAT], it appears to be much more stable and allows cybercriminal groups to better manage the pool of mobile bots.
Creating a piece of malware that is stable, tested and does not crash the host device requires a lot of work and skill. That includes not installing apps from untrusted sources and installing third party malware scanner tools.
Over the past ten years however, a significant portion of Windows users have simply switched from the wide open, malware saturated Windows platform to Apple’s Macs and iOS devices. Macs never became a significant malware target, an advantage Apple advertised and worked to preserve. When it introduced iOS in , Apple incorporated a new security model that attempted to destroy the low hanging fruit supporting the malware market on previous mobile devices. Apple stated that it “designed the iOS platform with security at its core,” detailing that, “when we set out to create the best possible mobile OS, we drew from decades of experience to build an entirely new architecture.
We thought about the security hazards of the desktop environment, and established a new approach to security in the design of iOS. We developed and incorporated innovative features that tighten mobile security and protect the entire system by default. As a result, iOS is a major leap forward in OS security. In stark contrast, Google simply recreated Microsoft’s malware-harboring platform among mobile devices via Android, allowing third party developers to release “open” apps that can obtain inappropriate access to user content and data.
Google maintains no accountability for the devices that ship with Android, and most devices ship with outdated versions with known security vulnerabilities. Most of these will never receive security updates.
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