Hackers using attractive fake Facebook profiles to trick the users into downloading Android Tempting Cedar Spyware that can steal pieces of information like contacts, call logs, SMS, and photos, as well as device information, like geolocation.
They use fake Facebook profiles of attractive women to spread the spyware, disguised as Kik Messenger app from a very convincing phishing site chat-messenger[.]site.
Researchers from Avast detected the Tempting Cedar Spyware Android: SpyAgent-YP [Trj] and they believe the spyware is operated from Lebanese.
The Spywares was distributed with three Facebook profiles and the victims are mostly young people, the attackers engaging the victims in flirty conversations and ask them to install another messenger app for secure and private communication which is the spyware.
Once the malicious apps installed, it will immediately establish communication with C&C server to receive commands. Also, the spyware is persistent one which can run after every reboot.
The Tempting Cedar Spyware consists of following modules to gather to track and gather information from victims, including contacts, photos, call logs, SMS, as well as information about the mobile device, such as geolocation, Android version, device model, network operator, and phone numbers.
The malware communicated through TCP port 2020 and the C&C console that used to track victims runs on port 443.
WHOIS data of the site Chat-world[.]site revealed it was registered by someone in Lebanon. Majority of the victims from the Middle East and most of them from Israel.
Researchers concluded that Tempting Cedar campaign has been running under the radar since as far back as 2015, targeting people in Middle Eastern countries. The spyware’s infection vector involves social engineering using attractive, but fictitious Facebook profiles.
You can find the IOCs in Avast post.
Common Defences and Mitigations
Researchers from Checkpoint notified to google and the affected apps removed now.
- Give careful consideration to the permission asked for by applications.
- Download applications from trusted sources.
- Stay up with the latest version.
- Encrypt your devices.
- Make frequent backups of important data.
- Install anti-malware on their devices.
- Stay strict with CIA Cycle.