Fake end-to-end encrypted chat app distributes Android spyware


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Feb 4, 2016
The GravityRAT remote access trojan is being distributed in the wild again, this time under the guise of an end-to-end encrypted chat application called SoSafe Chat.
This particular RAT (remote access trojan) targets predominately Indian users, being distributed by Pakistani actors.

The telemetry data on the most recent campaign shows that the targeting scope hasn’t changed, and Gravity is still targeting high-profile individuals in India, like officers of the Armed Forces.

Disguised as a secure chat app​

In 2020, the malware was targeting people via an Android app named ‘Travel Mate Pro,’ but since the pandemic has slowed down traveling, the actors moved to a new guise.
The app is now called ‘SoSafe Chat’ and is promoted as a secure messaging application that features end-to-end encryption.

Extensive spying abilities​

Once installed on a target’s device, the spyware can perform a wide range of malicious behavior, allowing the threat actors to exfiltrate data, spy on the victim, and track their location.

The complete list of malicious behavior includes

  • Read SMS, Call Logs, and Contacts data
  • Change or modify system settings
  • Read current cellular network information, the phone number and the serial number of the victim’s phone, the status of any ongoing calls, and a list of any Phone Accounts registered on the device
  • Read or write the files on the device’s external storage
  • Record audio
  • Gets connected network information
  • Get the device’s location
According to researchers at Cyble, the list of permissions that the malware requests for this functionality is naturally quite extensive, but it can still appear justified for an IM app.
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