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New Android MoqHao Malware Executes Automatically on Installation

The Roaming Mantis threat group distributes a well-known Android malware family called “MoqHao.” This malware family has been previously reported to be targeting Asian countries such as Korea and Japan. Though the distribution method remains the same, the new variants use a very dangerous technique.

Typically, the MoqHao malware requires user interaction to install and launch the app. However, the new variant of this malware does not require any execution.

Android is currently protected with Google Play Protect, which is the default app scanner that warns users or blocks applications that contain malicious behavior.

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Android MoqHao Malware

As part of the distribution, the threat actors send a malicious phishing SMS message to the users, which will contain a malicious shortened link. The device downloads the malicious application once the user clicks on the link. 

This new variant has several different behaviors when compared to the previous variants of this malware, as it launches automatically after installation without user interaction.

Differences between typical MoqHao and Modern MoqHao (Source: McAfee)

Android security checks an installed application and the specific value used by that application, which must be unique. The threat actors are abusing this particular feature to auto-executing the application without user interaction.

Moreover, the threat actors also use social engineering techniques to set this malicious app as a default SMS app. Further investigations also revealed that the malware has been extended with targets, including countries like South Korea, France, Germany, and India.

Fake messages to target different countries
Fake messages to target different countries (Source: McAfee)

Furthermore, this variant connects with a C2 server through WebSocket. This new malware has been added with several other commands for checking SIM state, sending SMS messages to other contacts and C2 servers, setting Sound/Vibrate/Silent mode, and various other purposes.

Command Description 
getSmsKW Send whole contacts to the C2 server 
sendSms Send SMS messages to someone 
setWifi Enable/disable Wifi 
gcont Set Vibrate/Silent mode according to the SDK version 
lock Store Boolean value in “lock” key in SharedPreferences 
bc Check SIM state 
setForward Store String value in “fs” key in SharedPreferences 
getForward Get String value in “fs” key in SharedPreferences 
hasPkg Check the specific package installed on the device 
setRingerMode Set Sound/Vibrate/Silent mode 
setRecEnable Emulate the Home button click 
reqState Send device information (Network, Power, MAC, Permission) to C2 server 
showHome Call a specific number with a Silent mode 
getnpki Send Korean Public Certificate (NPKI) to C2 server 
http Send HTTP requests 
call Get the list of installed packages 
get_apps Send all photos to the C2 server 
ping Check C2 server status 
getPhoneState Get unique information such as IMEI, SIM number, Android ID, and serial number 
get_photo Send all photos to C2 server 

McAfee provides comprehensive information about the malware, including details on its source code, techniques used to deploy it, targets that have been affected by it, and other important insights.

Indicators of Compromise

SHA256 Application Name Package Name 
2576a166d3b18eafc2e35a7de3e5549419d10ce62e0eeb24bad5a1daaa257528 chrome gb.pi.xcxr.xd 
61b4cca67762a4cf31209056ea17b6fb212e175ca330015d804122ee6481688e chrome malmkb.zdbd.ivakf.lrhrgf 
b044804cf731cd7dd79000b7c6abce7b642402b275c1eb25712607fc1e5e3d2b chrome vfqhqd.msk.xux.njs 
bf102125a6fca5e96aed855b45bbed9aa0bc964198ce207f2e63a71487ad793a chrome hohoj.vlcwu.lm.ext 
e72f46f15e50ce7cee5c4c0c5a5277e8be4bb3dd23d08ea79e1deacb8f004136 chrome enech.hg.rrfy.wrlpp 
f6323f8d8cfa4b5053c65f8c1862a8e6844b35b260f61735b3cf8d19990fef42 chrome gqjoyp.cixq.zbh.llr 

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Eswar
Eswar is a Cyber security content editor with a passion for creating captivating and informative content. With years of experience under his belt in Cyber Security, he is covering Cyber Security News, technology and other news.

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