Skip to main content

Mac And Android Added To GravityRAT Malware’s Targets

By October 31, 2020May 5th, 2022Cybersecurity

Malware comes in all shapes and sizes. Some strains copy and encrypt files. Others serve annoying ads.

Still others work quietly in the background, mining this or that cryptocurrency using your computer’s processing power to do it.

GravityRAT is a different sort of creature. It has been actively developed since at least 2015 by Pakistani hacker groups, and has been used primarily against military installations in India. As such, it’s not the sort of malware your IT staff is likely to have a face to face encounter with unless you’re doing contract work with the Indian military. It is interesting, however, and worth taking a closer look at.

GravityRAT was designed primarily to check the CPU temperature of Windows-based machines, and to detect the presence of sandboxes or virtual machines so that its controllers would know what type of environment they were operating in.

Recently though, security researchers at Kaspersky Lab discovered new strains of GravityRAT that are designed to work on both Android and Apple devices. The GravityRAT development team has also been quietly updating the capabilities of their malicious code.

As of the latest build, in addition to the two things above, the malware can:

  • Generate a list of running process
  • Log keystrokes
  • Get basic system information
  • Take screenshots at predefined intervals
  • Scan ports
  • Conduct searchers for certain file extensions
  • Execute arbitrary shell commands

Out of all these, it is the last one that makes GravityRAT genuinely dangerous, as there are any number of exploits the hackers could use here. Clearly, the team is building toward a specific goal, but so far, we can only guess at what that goal might be.

In any case, the latest build of GravityRAT is much more robust than anything that’s come before it, and it’s a good bet that the team is getting close to whatever finish line they have set for themselves. After that, there’s no telling what they might use their new tool for.

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.