In the realm of Android malware, a sophisticated and concerning threat has emerged in the form of Xamalicious, a backdoor malware leveraging the Xamarin open-source framework. This insidious software targets Android devices, aiming to gain accessibility privileges and execute a second-stage payload, ultimately allowing complete control and potential exploitation by cybercriminals.
Understanding Xamalicious Android Malware
Xamalicious infiltrates devices through various applications, utilizing the extensive privileges it gains to trigger the download of a second-stage payload. This payload empowers the malware to assert complete control over the infected device independently, without the victim’s interaction, allowing it to operate as spyware or a banking trojan.
Actions and Consequences
Once the payload is executed, Xamalicious has the capability to update the primary APK autonomously, transforming the malware into a spyware or banking trojan. A correlation between Xamalicious and an ad-fraud app named “Cash Magnet” has been identified, suggesting the involvement of cybercriminals in ad fraud activities for financial gain.
Carriers and Data Collection
More than twenty applications have been flagged as carriers for Xamalicious, spanning diverse categories available for download on third-party marketplaces. Xamalicious gathers extensive device information, including Android ID, operating system version, USB configuration, ADB status, device location, and CPU details, before executing its payload.
Identifying Characteristics and Threat Summary
- Targets Android devices through various applications, using Xamarin framework.
- Executes a second-stage payload to assert complete control over infected devices.
- Linked to ad-fraud activities with the “Cash Magnet” app.
- Gathers extensive device information before injecting its payload.
- Name: Xamalicious backdoor
- Threat Type: Android malware, malicious application, backdoor
- Detection Names:
- AhnLab-V3 (Trojan/Android.XAgent.1214836)
- Avira (ANDROID/Piom.zrtio)
- ESET-NOD32 (Android/Xamalicious.F)
- Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.AndroidOS.Piom.bbot)
- Full List (VirusTotal)
Responding, Removal, and Prevention Measures
Response and Removal Guide
- Check Device for Symptoms: Slow performance, modified settings, questionable apps, increased data/battery usage, redirects to suspicious sites.
- Uninstall Suspicious Apps: Identify and uninstall any recently downloaded or questionable apps.
- Reset Device to Factory Settings: If symptoms persist, perform a factory reset to remove the malware completely.
- Source Authentic Apps: Download apps only from official app stores, avoiding third-party marketplaces.
- Regular Updates: Keep devices updated with the latest security patches and operating system versions.
- Permissions Scrutiny: Review app permissions before installation to prevent unnecessary access to sensitive data.
- Security Software: Install reputable mobile security solutions for real-time threat detection and protection.
Xamalicious stands as a formidable Android malware threat, capable of compromising devices, stealing sensitive information, and participating in fraudulent activities. Vigilance, cautious app installation, and regular security practices serve as fundamental defenses against such threats, ensuring users’ privacy and security in the Android ecosystem.