Botnet With Ransomware And Data Theft Capabilities
In recent years, the widespread use of Android devices has made them a prime target for cybercriminals. Android botnet is a common malware type that cybercriminals use to gain access to targeted devices. These devices can be controlled remotely to carry out various malicious activities.
Cyble Research & Intelligence Labs (CRIL) recently analyzed an Android Botnet shared by MalwareHunterTeam. The mentioned malicious sample is the Trojanized version of the Psiphon application and identified as DAAM Android Botnet, which provides below features:
- VOIP call recordings
- Executing code at runtime
- Collects browser history
- Records incoming calls
- Steals PII data
- Opens phishing URL
- Capture photos
- Steal clipboard data
- Switch WiFi and Data status
The DAAM Android botnet provides an APK binding service wherein a Threat Actor (TA) can bind malicious code with a legitimate app. CRIL analyzed an APK file named PsiphonAndroid.s.apk with the hash value of “184356d900a545a2d545ab96fa6dd7b46f881a1a80ed134db1c65225e8fa902b” which contains DAAM botnet malicious code bonded with a legitimate Psiphon application.
The malware connects to the Command and Control (C&C) server hxxp://192.99.251[.]51:3000, and the figure below shows the DAAM Android botnet admin panel.
The C&C server is also present in various malicious applications, some of which were initially identified in August 2021. This indicates that the DAAM Android botnet has been operational since 2021 and constantly targeting Android users.
APK Metadata Information
- App Name: Psiphon
- Package Name: com.psiphon3
- SHA256 Hash: 184356d900a545a2d545ab96fa6dd7b46f881a1a80ed134db1c65225e8fa902b
The figure below shows the metadata information of the application.
Initially, the malware establishes a socket connection and communicates with the C&C server at hxxp://192.99.251[.]51:3000 to obtain commands for carrying out a range of malicious activities, as depicted in the figure below.
The DAAM Android botnet provides various command operations, which are explained below:
Malware uses the Accessibility Service to monitor users’ activity. It saves the captured keystrokes along with the application’s package name into a database, as shown in the figure below.
The DAAM botnet provides a Ransomware module that leverages the AES algorithm to encrypt and decrypt files on the infected device. It retrieves the password required for encryption and decryption from the C&C server. The malware also saves a ransom note in the “readme_now.txt” file.
The Ransomware activity is illustrated in the figure below.
VOIP call Recordings:
The DAAM botnet exploits the Accessibility service to monitor the components of social media applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram, and many others responsible for VOIP calls. If the user interacts with the below-mentioned components, malware initiates audio recording.
Below is the list of components targeted by the DAAM botnet:
- com.google. Android.apps.hangouts.hangout.HangoutActivity
- com.google. Android.apps.hangouts.elane.CallActivity
- com.enflick. Android.TextNow.activities.DialerActivity
Collecting Browser History:
The malware can gather bookmarks and browsing history stored on the target device and send them to the C&C server, as depicted below.
Executing code at runtime:
The malware can execute the code at runtime using DexClassLoader by receiving the method name, class name, and URL from the C&C server. The malware communicates with the received URL to fetch parameters of the targeted method, which is responsible for executing other malicious activities. The dynamic code runner module is illustrated in the below image.
Stealing PII data:
In addition to the functionalities mentioned above, the DAAM botnet gathers Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from the infected device, including but not limited to contacts, SMS messages, call logs, files, basic device details, and location data.
Malware can receive a phishing URL from a C&C server, then load it into a WebView component to steal the victim’s login information. The TA can use this feature to launch a social engineering attack by sending a phishing URL of their choice from the C&C panel.
The code in the below image is used by malware to steal screenshots saved at the external Storage path “/Pictures/Screenshots” of an infected device and sends them to the C&C server.
Additionally, the malware captures pictures by opening the camera of the victim’s device upon receiving a command from the admin panel and subsequently sending pictures to the C&C server.
In addition to the main functionalities mentioned earlier, the DAAM botnet can carry out additional tasks such as switching WiFi and data, showing random toast, and collecting clipboard data.
Malware authors often leverage genuine applications to distribute malicious code to avoid suspicion. DAAM Android botnet also provides a similar APK binding service where TA can bind malicious code with a legitimate APK to appear genuine.
Detailed analysis of the DAAM Android botnet indicates that it offers several intriguing capabilities, such as Ransomware, runtime code execution, and Keylogger, among others. Although relatively fewer samples have been identified so far, based on the malware’s capability, it may target a wide number of users in the coming days.
We have listed some essential cybersecurity best practices that create the first line of control against attackers. We recommend that our readers follow the best practices given below:
- Download and install software only from official app stores like Google Play Store or the iOS App Store.
- Use a reputed antivirus and internet security software package on your connected devices, such as PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.
- Never share your Card Details, CVV number, Card PIN, and Net Banking Credentials with an untrusted source.
- Use strong passwords and enforce multi-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Enable biometric security features such as fingerprint or facial recognition for unlocking the mobile device wherever possible.
- Be wary of opening any links received via SMS or emails delivered to your phone.
- Ensure that Google Play Protect is enabled on Android devices.
- Be careful while enabling any permissions.
- Keep your devices, operating systems, and applications updated.
MITRE ATT&CK® Techniques
|Tactic||Technique ID||Technique Name|
|Initial Access||T1476||Deliver Malicious App via Other Means.|
|Initial Access||T1444||Masquerade as a Legitimate Application|
|Collection||T1433||Access Call Log|
|Collection||T1432||Access Contact List|
|Collection||T1414||Capture Clipboard Data|
|Collection||T1412||Capture SMS Messages|
|Impact||T1471||Data Encrypted for Impact|
|Collection||T1533||Data from Local System|
Indicators of Compromise (IOCs)