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Android.Pincer

Risk Level 1: Very Low

Discovered:
May 23, 2013
Updated:
May 24, 2013 5:51:51 AM
Type:
Trojan
Infection Length:
Varies
Systems Affected:
Android
Android package file
The Trojan may arrive as a package with the following characteristics:

Package name: com.ibssoft.clientc


Permissions
When the Trojan is being installed, it requests permissions to perform the following actions:
  • Open network connections.
  • Send SMS messages.
  • Initiate a phone call without using the Phone UI or requiring confirmation from the user.
  • Monitor incoming SMS messages.
  • Check the phone's current state.
  • Start once the device has finished booting.


Installation
Once installed, the application displays an icon that appears to be a padlock on a computer monitor.


It also appears in the application menu as the name Certificate and displays fake messages when run.


Functionality
The Trojan opens a back door and attempts to connect to a command-and-control server. Once contact is established, the Trojan may be instructed to perform any of the following actions:
  • Start and stop forwarding SMS messages
  • Send SMS messages
  • Run an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) command
  • Stop running apps
  • Display messages
  • Configure URLs
  • Send pings
  • Configure SMS numbers

It also checks whether it's being run in an emulator by checking the IMEI, phone number, operator, and phone model.

The Trojan then steals the phone number, IMEI, and OS version from the compromised device.

Recommendations

Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.
Writeup By: Zhicheng Zeng
Summary| Technical Details| Removal

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