Roaming Mantis dabbles in mining and phishing multilingually

In April 2018, Kaspersky Lab published a blogpost titled ‘Roaming Mantis uses DNS hijacking to infect Android smartphones’. Roaming Mantis uses Android malware which is designed to spread via DNS hijacking and targets Android devices. This activity is located mostly in Asia (South Korea, Bangladesh and Japan) based on our telemetry data. Potential victims were redirected by DNS hijacking to a malicious web page that distributed a Trojanized application spoofed Facebook or Chrome that is then installed manually by users. The application actually contained an Android Trojan-Banker.
Soon after our publication it was brought to our attention that other researchers were also focused on this malware family. There was also another publication after we released our own blog. We’d like to acknowledge the good work of our colleagues from other security companies McAfee and TrendMicro covering this threat independently. If you are interested in this topic, you may find the following articles useful:
Android Banking Trojan MoqHao Spreading via SMS Phishing in South Korea
XLoader Android Spyware and Banking Trojan Distributed via DNS Spoofing
In May, while monitoring Roaming Mantis, aka MoqHao and XLoader, we observed significant changes in their M.O. The group’s activity expanded geographically and they broadened their attack/evasion methods. Their landing pages and malicious apk files now support 27 languages covering Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the criminals added a phishing option for iOS devices, and crypto-mining capabilities for the PC.
27 languages: targeting the world
In our previous blogpost we mentioned that a user attempting to connect to any websites while using a hijacked DNS, will be redirected to malicious landing pages on the rogue server. The landing page displays a popup message that corresponds to the language settings of the device and which urges the user to download a malicious apk file named ‘facebook.apk’ or ‘chrome.apk’.
Kaspersky Lab confirmed several languages hardcoded in the HTML source of the landing page to display the popup message.

The attackers substantially extended their target languages from four to 27, including European and Middle Eastern languages. And yet, they keep adding comments in Simplified Chinese.
But, of course, this multilingualism is not limited to the landing page. The most recent malicious apk (MD5:”fbe10ce5631305ca8bf8cd17ba1a0a35″) also was expanded to supports 27 languages.

The landing page and malicious apk now support the following languages:
Arabic
Bulgarian
Bengali
Czech
German
English
Spanish
Hebrew
Hindi
Armenian
Indonesian
Italian
Japanese
Georgian
Korean
Malay
Polish
Portuguese
Russian
Serbo-Croatian
Thai
Tagalog
Turkish
Ukrainian
Vietnamese
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
We believe the attacker made use of an easy method to potentially infect more users, by translating their initial set of languages with an automatic translator.
Apple phishing site for iOS device
Previously, this criminal group focused on Android devices only. They have apparently changed their monetizing strategy since then. The attackers now target iOS devices as well, using a phishing site to steal user credentials. When a user connects to the landing page via iOS devices, the user is redirected to ‘http://security.apple.com/’:

A legitimate DNS server wouldn’t be able to resolve a domain name like that, because it simply doesn’t exist. However, a user connecting via a compromised router can access the landing page because the rogue DNS service resolves this domain to the IP address 172.247.116[.]155. The final page is a phishing page mimicking the Apple website with the very reassuring domain name ‘security.apple.com’ in the address bar of the browser.

The phishing site steals user ID, password, card number, card expiration date and CVV. The HTML source of the phishing site also supports 25 languages.

The supported languages are almost the same as on the landing pages and malicious apk files – only Bengali and Georgian are missing from the phishing site.
Web crypto mining for PC
Looking at the HTML source code of the landing page, we also discovered a new feature: web mining via a special script executed in the browser. More details about web miners can be found in our blogpost ‘Mining is the new black‘.

Coinhive is the most popular web miner used by cybercriminals around the world. When a user connects to the landing page from a PC, the CPU usage will drastically increase because of the crypto mining activity in the browser.

Real C2 destination is hidden in email subject
Older malicious apk samples include a legitimate website, accounts and a regular expression for retrieving the real C2 address, which the malware connects to by using a web socket. This process for obtaining its C2 changes in more recent samples, further described below:
MD5
f3ca571b2d1f0ecff371fb82119d1afe
4d9a7e425f8c8b02d598ef0a0a776a58
fbe10ce5631305ca8bf8cd17ba1a0a35
Date
March 29 2018
April 7 2018
May 14 2018
File name
chrome.apk
facebook.apk
$random_num{8}.apk
Legitimate web
http://my.tv.sohu[.]com/user/%s
https://www.baidu[.]com/p/%s/detail
n/a
Email
n/a
n/a
@outlook.com
Accounts
329505231329505325329505338
haoxingfu88haoxingfu12389wokaixin158998
haoxingfu11haoxingfu22haoxingfu33
RegExp
“([u4e00-u9fa5]+?)s+”
“公司([\u4e00-\u9fa5]+?)
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