Advanced mobile malware campaign targeted against 13 iPhone users in India and the attacker using an open-source mobile device management (MDM) system to control the compromised devices.

It was unclear about the enrollment of this attack to manage the targeted device by attackers and the researchers believe that it could be performed via physical access or social engineering techniques.

An open-source mobile device management (MDM) system usually deploy to control the mobile devices.

Attackers deploying five applications into targeted 13 devices in India to steal the sensitive data.

  • 2 -Test the functionality of the device
  • 1 -Steals SMS message contents
  • 3- Report the location of the device and can exfiltrate various data

Mobile Malware Data Stealing Process

A method called BOptions sideloading technique used by an attacker to add some extra future to legitimate apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram.

A malicious code inserted into these apps is capable of collecting and exfiltrating information from the device.

Attackers can obtain the information such as phone number, serial number, location, contacts, user’s photos, SMS and Telegram and WhatsApp chat messages which could lead to manipulate a victim or even use it for blackmail or bribery.

Overall workflow of the deployment method and capabilities

Researchers discovered a log that contains MDM servers and the malware’s command and control (C2) server,  and the malware being used since  August 2015.

At this moment this malware only targeting very selective peoples in India also attacker left essential data on the servers, such as emails and username.

Based on the compromised device analysis report, a device named “test” or “mdmdev and the log files contains the phone number of the device which belongs to Vodafone ISP.

According to Cisco, MDM is becoming more popular throughout large enterprises, and users should be aware that installing additional certificates on their device to allow remote management can result in potential malicious activity.

Also, Cisco identified 2 different MDM servers which are based on the open-source project MDM-server.

MDM allows for operating system-level control of multiple devices from a centralized location. A remote administrator can install or remove apps, install or revoke certificates, lock the device, or change password requirements, among other things. Cisco said.

You can also read the complete enrolling step of the device and MDM technical information Here.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


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