Friday, December 1, 2023

8 Malicious Applications in Google Play Store Infects 50,000 Android Users to Steal Data and Generate Illegitimate Revenue

A new clicker malware found in Google play dubbed Haken aims to gain control over the affected devices and to generate illegitimate profit.

Checkpoint researchers observed the new malware family while looking for another clicker malware BearClod.

The Haken malware is capable of exfiltrating sensitive user data from the infected device and also subscribes to premium services.

Eight such apps caught distributing the malware in the Google play store, altogether downloaded for more than 50,000 times.

Haken Clicker Malware

To perform clicking malware utilizes the native code and injection to Facebook and AdMob libraries while communicating to the server.

The first entry point for the backdoored app is Haken clicker receiver called ‘BaseReceiver’ which seeks permission from the user to make the application run once the device is started.

According to Checkpoint report “the BaseReceiver loads a library kagu-lib which calls a method called ‘startTicks’ which after inspection calls the method ‘clm’ from ‘com/google/android/gms/internal/JHandler.”

This particular class registered two workers and a timer, one worker communicates with the C&C server to download the configuration and process it.

The second worker triggered by the timer, responsible for “injects code into the Ad-related Activity classes of well-known Ad-SDK’s like Google’s AdMob and Facebook”.

By injecting the clicking functionality the attackers able to mimic the user clicks to generate illegitimate revenue.

The affected apps have been reported to Google by Checkpoint and the affected applications removed from Google play.

Following are the apps

Package NameInstallsSha256
com.faber.kids.coloring10,000+381620b5fc7c3a2d73e0135c6b4ebd91e117882f804a4794f3a583b3b0c19bc5
com.haken.compass10,000+30bf493c79824a255f9b56db74a04e711a59257802f215187faffae9c6c2f8dc
com.haken.qrcode5,000+62d192ff53a851855ac349ee9e6b71c1dee8fb6ed00502ff3bf00b3d367f9f38
 com.vimotech.fruits.coloring.book5,000+f4da643b2b9a310fdc1cc7a3cbaee83e106a0d654119fddc608a4b587c5552a3
com.vimotech.soccer.coloring.book5,000+a4295a2120fc6b75b6a86a55e8c6b380f0dfede3b9824fe5323e139d3bee6f5c
mobi.game.fruit.jump.tower100+e811f04491b9a7859602f8fad9165d1df7127696cc03418ffb5c8ca0914c64da
mobi.game.ball.number.shooter50+d3f13dd1d35c604f26fecf7cb8b871a28aa8dab343c2488d748a35b0fa28349a
com.vimotech.inongdan50+a47049094051135631aea2c9954a6bc7e605ff455cd7ef1e0999042b068a841f

Google announced that nearly 600 apps removed from the Google Play Store and banned from ad monetization platforms.

These apps are removed for showing disruptive ads that displayed to users in unexpected ways and for out-of-context ads in which developers serve ads even if the user not active with the application.

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