Menu
Bogus news app used to deliver Hacking Team spy tool

Bogus news app used to deliver Hacking Team spy tool

Trend Micro found the app, along with exploit code and instructions, in the leaked data

Trend Micro said Hacking Team offered a bogus news app to customers that delivered its flagship spying tool to Android devices.

Trend Micro said Hacking Team offered a bogus news app to customers that delivered its flagship spying tool to Android devices.

Data stolen from Hacking Team continues to yield information about the company's infiltration techniques. The latest find is a fake Android news app, which was used to install its flagship surveillance tool.

The app is called "BeNews," the same name as a long-shuttered news website, wrote Wish Wu, mobile threat response engineer, on Trend Micro's blog.

Inside the app is a backdoor that appears to have been used to load the Android version of Hacking Team's Remote Control System (RCS), also known as Galileo, a data-collecting tool the company sold to law enforcement and security agencies worldwide.

That malicious component takes advantage of a local privilege escalation vulnerability, CVE-2014-3153, Wu wrote. It is effective against unpatched Android versions from Froyo 2.2 to KitKat 4.4.4.

"We believe that the Hacking Team provided the app to customers to be used as a lure to download RCSAndroid malware on a target's Android device," Wu wrote.

Google scans its Play store for potentially malicious applications, but it appears Hacking Team devised a method so BeNews would not be classified as such after it is uploaded. Android apps ask for permission for certain activities. BeNews initially asks for only three benign ones in order to avoid being blocked by Google, and no exploit code is included in the app, Wu wrote.

After it passes the scan, it uses dynamic loading to download and then execute the malicious component after a person has downloaded it.

Trend Micro found the source code for the backdoor and server within the 400GB of data stolen from Hacking Team, which had long been criticized for selling spying tools to countries with questionable human rights and civil liberty records. The security company also found detailed instructions intended for customers describing how to deploy the malicious app.

Since the data breach, Hacking Team has regrouped and said it planned to develop a new version of RCS to allow its clients to resume what it termed "criminal and intelligence investigations."

The data breach exposed several zero-day vulnerabilities, including three in Adobe Systems' Flash Player, which Hacking Team's clients relied on to install the company's software. Adobe and Microsoft issued patches for Hacking Team-related flaws, which means the company may need fresh zero-day vulnerabilities.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitymobile securitymalwareHacking Team

Featured

Slideshows

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Show Comments