Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

News

3/12/2020
04:45 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New Android Malware Strain Sneaks Cookies from Facebook

Two malware modifications, when combined, can snatch cookies collected by browsers and social networking apps.

Who stole the cookies from Facebook's jar? Researchers found a culprit in the so-called "Cookiethief" malware, a new strain of Android malware that could give cybercriminals the means to steal cookies collected by the browsers and apps of social networking platforms.

Kaspersky Lab researchers have found two Android malware modifications. When combined, they aim to secure root rights on a target device and transfer cookies from the browser and Facebook app to a command-and-control (C2) server. Researchers have not determined how the Trojan lands on target devices but say the cause is not a flaw in Facebook or the browser itself.

Websites use cookies to store unique session IDs so users can revisit the same Web services without having to log in multiple times. Someone who steals a cookie could use it to appear as a person and abuse their account for malicious purposes, explain Kaspersky Labs antivirus analyst Anton Kivva and security research Igor Golovin in a blog post about the malware discovery.

Cybercriminals aim to do this by creating two Trojans with similar codebases, both controlled by the same C2 server. The combination lets them take over social accounts, without alerting Facebook, and send malicious content. It's unknown what the attackers' ultimate goal is; however, a page on the C2 server advertises services for sending spam on social networks. It's believed the attackers want account access so they can launch spam and phishing campaigns.

The first Trojan, researchers explain, gains root rights on the target device, which lets the attackers send cookies to servers they control. Researchers note that sometimes an ID number alone isn't sufficient to let an adversary take over a social media account. Some websites, Facebook included, have protective measures meant to block suspicious logins — for example, when a user who was active in New York reappears moments later in London.

This is why attackers created the second Trojan, which they call Youzicheng and is presumably from the same developers. It is a malicious application that can run a proxy server on a target device to bypass security measures of the social network. The second Trojan lets the attackers request access to a website while appearing as a legitimate account holder. This threat does not make itself known to the user of the device, says Kivva.

"These threats are only just starting to spread, and the number of victims, accounting to our data, does not exceed 1,000, but the figure it growing," researchers explain.

They have linked Cookiethief malware with widespread Trojans including Sivu, Triada, and Ztorg. This type of malware, they say, is planted in the device firmware before it's purchased. Attackers can also leverage vulnerabilities in the operating system to put the malware in system folders, where it can download different applications onto the system. This is how programs like Cookiethief and Youzicheng can land on a target device, the researchers say.

Related Content:

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's featured story: "Keys to Hiring Cybersecurity Pros When Certification Can't Help."

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/25/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15208
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, when determining the common dimension size of two tensors, TFLite uses a `DCHECK` which is no-op outside of debug compilation modes. Since the function always returns the dimension of the first tensor, malicious attackers can ...
CVE-2020-15209
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, a crafted TFLite model can force a node to have as input a tensor backed by a `nullptr` buffer. This can be achieved by changing a buffer index in the flatbuffer serialization to convert a read-only tensor to a read-write one....
CVE-2020-15210
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, if a TFLite saved model uses the same tensor as both input and output of an operator, then, depending on the operator, we can observe a segmentation fault or just memory corruption. We have patched the issue in d58c96946b and ...
CVE-2020-15211
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In TensorFlow Lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, saved models in the flatbuffer format use a double indexing scheme: a model has a set of subgraphs, each subgraph has a set of operators and each operator has a set of input/output tensors. The flatbuffer format uses indices f...
CVE-2020-15212
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In TensorFlow Lite before versions 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, models using segment sum can trigger writes outside of bounds of heap allocated buffers by inserting negative elements in the segment ids tensor. Users having access to `segment_ids_data` can alter `output_index` and then write to outside of `outpu...