Kaspersky this week said its threat-monitoring systems had detected malware known as the Wroba Trojan, which targets Android and iOS device owners in the US with a fake package-delivery notification.
Android device users who click on a link in the notification are taken to a malicious site with an alert that warns users about their mobile browser being out of date and needing to be updated. Users tricked into clicking “OK” to download the purported browser update end up installing the malware on their device instead.
The download does not work on iPhones. So, users of iPhones who fall for the fake package-delivery notification are instead sent to a phishing page designed to look like Apple’s login page, which attempts to steal their Apple ID credentials.
Once Wroba is installed on a device, it can carry out a variety of malicious activities, according to Kaspersky. This includes sending fake SMS messages, checking installed packages, accessing financial transaction data, stealing the user’s contact list, and serving up phishing pages for stealing credentials, including those associated with bank accounts.
Wroba is not unlike other mobile malware — like its distribution via SMS. “But it utilizes some unusual techniques to hide its communication with its command-and-control [C2] server, like using MessagePack format and DES encryption to send the data.”
Wroba also has the ability to update its list of C2 servers with the help of information in social media accounts. The C2 information, for example, might be stored in encrypted form in the “Bio” or similar field in a social media account, Eremin says.
Kaspersky has described Wroba as being part of a broader mobile malware campaign called “Roaming Mantis.” Earlier versions of the malware were distributed via DNS hijacking. The operators of the malware basically hijacked DNS settings on home routers and redirected users of those routers to malicious sites.
The latest Wroba campaign is another sign of the growing threat that mobile users and organizations face from malware, adware, and other unwanted software on smartphones and other mobile devices. Thirty-nine percent of more than 875 mobile security professionals surveyed for the 2020 edition of Verizon’s Mobile Security Index said their organizations had experienced a security compromise involving a mobile device in the past year. Two years ago, only 27% reported such a breach. Two-thirds of those who experienced a mobile-related breach described the impact as major.