NCC warns on new software that steals users’ banking app login credentials
By Olajide Meseko
The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team, CSIRT, has warned Nigerians to be wary of a newly-hatched malicious software that steals users’ banking app login credentials on Android devices.
According to a security advisory from the NCC CSIRT, the malicious software, called “Xenomorph,” found to target 56 financial institutions in Europe, has high impact and high vulnerability rate.
NCC said the main intent of this malware was to steal credentials, combined with the use of SMS and notification interception to log-in and use potential 2-factor authentication tokens.
“Xenomorph is propagated by an application that was slipped into Google Play store and masquerading as a legitimate application called “Fast Cleaner” ostensibly meant to clear junk, increase device speed and optimize battery. In reality, this app is only a means by which the Xenomorph Trojan could be propagated easily and efficiently.
“To avoid early detection or being denied access to the PlayStore, ‘Fast Cleaner’ was disseminated before the malware was placed on the remote server, making it hard for Google to determine that such an app is being used for malicious actions.
“Once up and running on a victim’s device, Xenomorph can harvest device information and Short Messaging Service (SMS), intercept notifications and new SMS messages, perform overlay attacks, and prevent users from uninstalling it. The threat also asks for Accessibility Services privileges, which allow it to grant itself further permissions.
“The CSIRT said the malware also steals victims’ banking credentials by overlaying fake login pages on top of legitimate ones. Considering that it can also intercept messages and notifications, it allows its operators to bypass SMS-based two-factor authentication and log into the victims’ accounts without alerting them.”