StrongPity Hackers Distribute Trojanized Telegram App to Target Android Users


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Aug 17, 2014
The advanced persistent threat (APT) group known as StrongPity has targeted Android users with a trojanized version of the Telegram app through a fake website that impersonates a video chat service called Shagle.

"A copycat website, mimicking the Shagle service, is used to distribute StrongPity's mobile backdoor app," ESET malware researcher Lukáš Štefanko said in a technical report. "The app is a modified version of the open source Telegram app, repackaged with StrongPity backdoor code."
The Slovak cybersecurity company described the implant as modular and capable of downloading additional components from a remote command-and-control (C2) server so as to accommodate the evolving objectives of StrongPity's campaigns.

The backdoor functionality is concealed within a legitimate version of Telegram's Android app that was available for download around February 25, 2022. That said, the bogus Shagle website is no longer active, although indications are that the activity is "very narrowly targeted" due to the lack of telemetry data.

There is also no evidence the app was published on the official Google Play Store. It's currently not known how the potential victims are lured to the fake website, and if it entails techniques like social engineering, search engine poisoning, or fraudulent ads.

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