Anubis Banking Trojan Using Google Play and Telegram App

The powerful Anubis banking Trojan is showing up in the Google Play Store in other apps. Currently, Anubis is masquerading as a battery saver and currency converter.  This Android banking Trojan launches a fake app overlay screen when the user opens the app. The user enters his or her account credentials into the fake overlay, which allows the Anubis malware to steal the data. Anubis can imitate 377 financial apps used in over 90 countries through its fake overlay screens.

Another wrinkle with Anubis is that it establishes command and control (CNC or C2) using the popular Telegram encrypted messaging app.  Once the connection is established, it is quickly swapped out for another connection that doesn’t use Telegram.  This, and the use of Chinese characters in the code, slows down detection by the Telegram’s in-house security team.

Anubis infected Android apps will only activate when the user is moving, by monitoring the device sensor data.  The payload is delivered masked as an Android system update, urging the user to download it.  The Anubis malware can act as a Trojan, keylogger, and ransomware, all combined in a single package.

The best way to avoid this mess is to only install apps you really need.  I find that most mobile phone users install apps they use a few times and then abandon without uninstalling them.   Anubis is problematic since it avoided early detection when Google vetted the app for inclusion in its Store.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, Bob also conducts security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. Bob also teaches Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. Bob works as an instruction for CompTIA’s non-profit IT-Ready Program in the Twin Cities. IT-Ready is a tuition free 8-week program designed to teach students of all ages the fundamentals of IT support to prepare them for an entry level position in Information Technology Support. Graduates of the classes take the exams to become CompTIA A+ certified. Bob is a frequent speaker at conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. Bob has been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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