Android Malware that Talks to Victim

Cybercriminals are using a new strain of Android malware that can intercept your banking calls and forward them to cybercriminals impersonating customer support.

This new strain of Android malware has been dubbed “FakeCalls” and the operators of this malware are targeting the South Korean users primarily.

While its primary purpose is to mimic the interfaces of Korean banks, this malware also acts as spyware that has the capability to copy data from the infected device and record calls from that device on a regular basis.

FakeCalls Trojan

KB (Kookmin Bank) and KakaoBank are two of the most popular Korean banks that are mimicked by FakeCalls trojan. The users of the Trojan can find on the FakeCalls screen the support numbers of specific banks displayed by the Trojan’s creators.

As soon as the Trojan is installed, all kinds of permissions are requested by the Trojan, and here they are:- 

  • Access to contacts
  • Access to microphone
  • Access to camera
  • Access to geolocation
  • Access to call handling

It appears that the FakeCall malware can imitate actual phone conversations with customer support, unlike other banking Trojans.

The Trojan discreetly breaks the connection when the victim calls the bank’s hotline, and instead of the regular call app, it opens its own fake one, reads the Kaspersky report.

Firstly, the malware takes over your existing connection and shows a screen that looks just like the real bank’s call screen when the victim tries to call it.

The interface language of FakeCalls is Korean; it is the only language available. In case of multiple language availability, the victim will assume the app is fake, and the whole thing will smell fishy.

Possible Scenarios

There are two possible outcomes after the call has been intercepted, and here we have mentioned them below:-

  • First scenario: In this scenario, as long as the app has permission to make outgoing calls, the FakeCalls application can connect the victim directly with the cybercriminals.
  • Second scenario: In this scenario, the Trojan will play prerecorded audio to fool the user into believing it is the standard greeting from the bank to make it legit.

Here below we have mentioned the recorded phrases used by the threat actors:-

“Hello. Thank you for calling KakaoBank. Our call center is currently receiving an unusually large volume of calls. A consultant will speak to you as soon as possible. <…> To improve the quality of the service, your conversation will be recorded.”

“Welcome to Kookmin Bank. Your conversation will be recorded. We will now connect you with an operator.”

Recommendations

Here below we have mentioned all the mitigations recommended by the experts:-

  • Make sure to download the apps from official stores only.
  • Disable the “installations from unknown sources” feature.
  • Enable Google Play Protect.
  • Always pay attention to the permissions requested by the apps your install.
  • Do not give any confidential information or data over the phone.
  • Always use a robust security solution. 

There is also the possibility that the malware can trigger the playback of a prerecorded track, emulating the standard greeting from the bank when the cybercriminals are busy.

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Gurubaran is a PKI Security Engineer. Certified Ethical Hacker, Penetration Tester, Security blogger, Co-Founder & Author of GBHackers On Security.

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