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GravityRAT Spyware Targets Android & MacOS in India

The Trojan once used in attacks against Windows systems has been transformed into a multiplatform tool targeting macOS and Android.

Researchers have identified GravityRAT, a spying remote access Trojan (RAT) known to target devices in India, in an attack campaign against Android and MacOS devices. The activity was still ongoing at the time their findings were published on Oct. 19.

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GravityRAT has been active since at least 2015 and primarily focused on Windows operating systems, Kaspersky researchers report, noting the Trojan has been used to target the Indian military services. A couple of years ago, its operators added Android to its list of targets.

The team recently identified a module proving GravityRAT is targeting Android. As far as functionality goes, its capabilities are fairly standard: The spyware sends device data, contact lists, email addresses, and call and text logs to the attackers' command-and-control (C2) server.

However, there are some reasons GravityRAT doesn't look like the usual Android spyware. A victim must choose a specific application in order to launch malicious activity; further, malicious code isn't based on the code of previously known spyware applications. Analysis of the C2 addresses module used revealed several additional versions of GravityRAT, all distributed disguised as legitimate applications such as secure file-sharing apps.

Used together, these modules let the attackers tap into Windows, macOS, and Android, the researchers say.

A 2019 article from The Times of India shows that between 2015 and 2018, GravityRAT victims were contacted through a fake Facebook account and asked to install a malicious app disguised as a secure messaging service. The activity affected about 100 employees of defense, police, and other organizations. The Kaspersky team believes the latest campaign is likely using similar infection techniques. 

Read Kaspersky's full writeup for more details.

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