1. Symantec/
  2. Security Response/
  3. Android.GeoFake


Risk Level 1: Very Low

April 2, 2012
April 2, 2012 7:07:31 PM
Systems Affected:
Android package file
The Trojan may arrive as a package with the following name:

APK: santander.apk
Version: 1.0
Application name: TokenGenerator

When the Trojan is installed, it requests permissions to perform the following actions:
  • Get information about the currently or recently running tasks
  • Open network connections
  • Check the phone's current state
  • Make the phone vibrate
  • Allow access to low-level system logs
  • Write to external storage devices
  • Access location information, such as Cell-ID or WiFi
  • Access location information, such as GPS information
  • Access information about networks
  • Access information about the WiFi state
  • Start once the device has finished booting
  • Allows management of the list of accounts in the AccountManager
  • Allows requests for authtokens from the AccountManager
  • Allows access to list of accounts in the Accounts Service
  • Allows packages to be restarted
  • Read user's contacts data
  • Read SMS messages on the device
  • Create new SMS messages
  • Use the device's mic to record audio

The Trojan generally arrives within a repackaged .apk file from a legitimate application. The package name, publisher, and other details will vary and may be taken directly from the original application.


The Trojan sends SMS messages to premium-rate numbers by performing one of the following actions:
  • Sends SMS using a predefined list of premium numbers
  • Connects to a predefined IP address to download a XML-configured list of premium numbers, then sends SMS

The Trojan will attempt to use the GoogleMaps API to determine region-appropriate premium services based on the compromised device's geolocation.

The Trojan also filters any SMS replies using predefined lists to hide premium service or network operator notifications.


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: Branko Spasojevic
Summary| Technical Details| Removal

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