SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Check Point exposes Android malware vendor using dark net to rebrand products

By Shannon Williams
Wed 13 Jan 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Check Point security researchers have exposed an Android malware vendor using a marketer on the dark net to rebrand its products, with the intention of supercharging business and throwing off security vendors. 

The malware vendor, which goes by the name “Triangulum”, first joined the dark net in early 2017. Triangulum’s initial product was a mobile RAT (remote access trojan), capable of data exfiltration from C&C servers and destroying local data – even deleting entire operating systems. Four months later, Triangulum began to offer its first android malware for sale, Check Point says. 

Triangulum then vanished for nearly 18 months, with no signs of activity on the dark net. However it resurfaced on April 6, 2019, debuting a new product for sale. From this point on, Triangulum has been very active, advertising a number of products over the next 6 months. 

Researchers speculate that during Triangulum’s hiatus from the dark net, the avatar created a high-functioning production line for development and distribution of Android malware in collaboration with another threat actor, ‘HexaGoN Dev.’

Developing the ‘Rogue’ Android malware

According to Check Point, Triangulum and HeXaGoN Dev collaborated to create and introduce the ‘Rogue’ malware to the dark net. 

Rogue is part of the MRAT family (Mobile Remote Access Trojan), which gain control over the host device and exfiltrate any kind of data, such as photos, location, contacts, and messages to modify the files on an Android device and download additional malicious payloads. 

When Rogue successfully gains all of the required permissions on the targeted device, it hides its icon from the device’s user to ensure it will not be easy to get rid of it. If all of the required permissions are not granted, it will repeatedly ask the user to grant them.

Check Point says the malware then registers as a device administrator. If the user tries to revoke the admin permission, an onscreen message appears: “Are you sure to wipe all the data?” 

Rogue adopts the services of the Firebase platform, a Google service for apps, to disguise its malicious intentions and masquerade as a legitimate Google service. It uses Firebase’s services as a C&C (command and control) server, so that all of the commands that control the malware, and all of the information stolen by the malware, are delivered using Firebase’s infrastructure.

According to Check Point, further investigation revealed that Triangulum was collaborating with HexaGoN Dev, who specialised in the development of Android OS malware products, particularly RATs. 

"The reason behind the partnership was that Triangulum struggled to sell products on his own. So Triangulum joined forces with an "underground marketing guy" HexaGoN Dev, who helped him create different brandings for exactly the same product," the compay explains. 

"In the past, Triangulum had purchased several projects created by HeXaGoN Dev. The combination of HeXaGon Dev’s programming skills and Triangulum’s social marketing skills clearly posed a legitimate threat. 

Triangulum and HeXaGoN Dev produced and distributed multiple malware variants for Android, including cryptominers, keyloggers, and sophisticated P2P (Phone to Phone) MRATs.

“Mobile malware vendors are becoming far more resourceful on the dark net, and our research gives an insight into how malware evolves in this underground market," says Yaniv Balmas, head of cyber research at Check Point.  

"It also highlights how difficult it is to track, classify and protect against new malware in an effective way, as it’s easy for malware authors to create fake products, which may confuse security vendors," Balmas says.

"While we have ways of detecting such things in the real-world, the underground market is still like the wild west, which makes it very hard to quickly establish what is a real and dangerous threat and what isn’t.”

 

Triangulum’s products for sale

Cosmos
The initial product sold by Triangulum. This malware allows mostly read/write for SMS, call logs, key logger and screen shot capability

DarkShades
The successor product after Cosmos. It contains all of its features plus audio recording and the ability to take pictures with a device’s camera

Rogue
The latest malware sold by Triangulum. It contains all of DarkShades functionality, and other features such as sending a fake notifications, register as default SMS app, and register as device administrator.

How to protect against mobile malware

  • Update your OS. Mobile devices should always be updated to the latest version of the OS to protect against the exploitation of privilege escalation vulnerabilities.
  • Only install apps from official app stores. Installing apps only from official app stores reduces the probability of an unintentional installation of mobile malware or a malicious application.
  • Enable ‘remote wipe’ capability on all mobile devices. All devices should have remote wipe enabled to minimize the probability of loss of sensitive data.
  • Do not trust public Wi-Fi networks. Public Wi-Fi networks can give an attacker a bridge onto a device, making it easier to perform man-in-the-middle (MitM) and other attacks. Limiting mobile devices to trusted Wi-Fi and mobile networks reduces their exposure to cyber threats.
Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Phishing
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.