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Keylogger Found In Android Banking Malware

By August 8, 2017March 1st, 2023Cybersecurity

One of the most dangerous forms of banking malware, dubbed “Svpeng,” has recently gotten an upgrade that makes it even more troubling, this, according to researchers at Kaspersky Labs. The upgrade adds a new keylogging feature that allows the malicious software to track and log each keystroke, sending it back to the hackers at whatever interval they wish and giving them another means to steal an infected user’s sensitive information.

Of particular interest, if you’re living in Russia, you’re completely safe from the damaging effects of the malware.

You’ll still be infected, but one of the first things the new variant does is check the device language, and if it’s set to Russian, all malicious activities are disabled. The supposition here is that the group members behind the software are Russian themselves. In giving their fellow Russian citizens a pass, they’re likely not expressing some form of national solidarity, but rather, attempting to gain immunity from Russian cybercrime laws, which only apply if Russian citizens are the targets of a hack.

So far, the new Svpeng variant has infected users in twenty-three countries, and the number of infected devices grows by the day. It winds up on people’s systems by masquerading as a Flash Player install file.

As to the new keylogging function, it takes advantage of Android’s Accessibility Services. Once it’s installed, it can grant itself administrator rights, display an overlay on top of legitimate apps, make itself the default SMS app. It can even make calls, read contacts, send and receive SMS messages and so forth (all this, in addition to actually logging a user’s keystrokes).

Even more troubling, though, is the fact that by piggy-backing on the phone’s Accessibility Services, it can gain access to other apps installed on your phone and take screenshots each time you press a button on your keyboard.

In short, it’s a nasty piece of work, and although Google has not released a patch to close the loophole that Svpeng exploits, you can bet that one will be coming soon!

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.