New Android Cookie-Stealing Malware Found Hijacking Facebook Accounts

A new straightforward but unsafe strain of Android malware has been discovered in the wild that steals users’ authentication cookies from the world wide web browsing and other apps, like Chrome and Facebook, installed on the compromised devices.

Dubbed “Cookiethief” by Kaspersky researchers, the Trojan will work by getting superuser root rights on the target device, and subsequently, transfer stolen cookies to a remote command-and-handle (C2) server operated by attackers.

“This abuse system is doable not due to the fact of a vulnerability in the Fb app or browser alone,” Kaspersky researchers said. “Malware could steal cookie information of any web site from other apps in the very same way and realize very similar benefits.”

Cookiethief: Hijacking Accounts Without the need of Necessitating Passwords

Cookies are smaller pieces of information and facts which is often used by websites to differentiate just one consumer from an additional, give continuity all over the net, monitor searching sessions across various internet websites, provide customized information, and strings associated to specific adverts.

Supplied how cookies on a unit let consumers to remain logged in to a company with out possessing to consistently sign in, Cookiethief aims to exploit this really behavior to let attackers acquire unauthorized entry to the victim accounts with out realizing their genuine on the net accounts passwords.

“This way, a cybercriminal armed with a cookie can pass himself off as the unsuspecting victim and use the latter’s account for particular obtain,” the scientists explained.

Kaspersky theorizes that there could be a range of techniques the Trojan could land up on the machine — which includes planting this sort of malware in the system firmware right before purchase, or by exploiting vulnerabilities in the operating method to download malicious apps.

android malware hacks chrome and facebook passwords

At the time the gadget is infected, the malware connects to a backdoor, dubbed ‘Bood,’ installed on the exact same smartphone to execute “superuser” commands that aid cookie theft.

How Do Attackers Bypass Multi-Stage Defense Supplied by Facebook?

Cookiethief malware does not have it all straightforward, even though. Fb has stability measures in area to block any suspicious login tries, these kinds of as from IP addresses, units, and browsers that had hardly ever been used for logging into the platform before.

But the bad actors have worked around the difficulty by leveraging the second piece of malware app, named ‘Youzicheng,’ that generates a proxy server on the infected gadget to impersonate the account owner’s geographic locale to make the entry requests legitimate.

“By combining these two attacks, cybercriminals can acquire full command above the victim’s account and not elevate suspicion from Facebook,” the researchers observed.

android proxy malware

It is not nonetheless very clear what the attackers are definitely right after, but the scientists uncovered a webpage observed on the C2 server promotion companies for distributing spam on social networks and messengers — leading them to the summary that the criminals could leverage Cookiethief to hijack users’ social media accounts to distribute malicious links or perpetuate phishing attacks.

Even though Kaspersky classified the attack as a new threat — with only about 1,000 people qualified in this method — it warned that this variety is “increasing” looking at the trouble in detecting these types of intrusions.

To be secure from this kind of attacks, it is advisable that users block 3rd-celebration cookies on the phone’s browser, clear the cookies on a regular foundation, and stop by sites using non-public browsing method.

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