Today, Symantec has released two new pieces of research about Android mobile apps being exploited to attack users. WhatsApp and Telegram media files could be exposed and manipulated by malicious actors according to new research by Symantec’s Modern OS Security team.
The security flaw, dubbed “Media File Jacking”, affects WhatsApp for Android by default, and Telegram for Android if certain features are enabled. It stems from the lapse in time between when media files received through the apps are written to the disk, and when they are loaded in the apps’ chat user interface (UI) for users to consume. This critical time lapse presents an opportunity for malicious actors to intervene and manipulate media files without the user’s knowledge.
If the security flaw is exploited, a malicious attacker could misuse and manipulate sensitive information such as personal photos and videos, corporate documents, invoices, and voice memos. Attackers could take advantage of the relations of trust between a sender and a receiver when using these IM apps for personal gain or to wreak havoc.
To read the full Threat Intelligence Report please go to https://www.symantec.com/blogs/expert-perspectives/symantec-mobile-threat-defense-attackers-can-manipulate-your-whatsapp-and-telegram-media
Additionally, Symantec has found a malicious app named MobonoGram 2019 (detected as Android.Fakeyouwon) advertising itself as an unofficial version of the Telegram messaging app and claiming to provide even more features than both the official and other unofficial versions in the market. While the app does provide basic messaging functionality, they found it was also secretly running a few services on the device without the user’s consent, as well as loading and browsing an endless stream of malicious websites in the background.
These malicious websites include Fakeyouwon, pornography and gaming websites. Symantec have also seen the URL making a request to itself, causing an infinite loop of requests to the website. Such activity not only exhausts the device’s battery, but also leads to an unpleasant user experience and may even cause the device to crash.
To read the full Report on MobonoGram 2019 please go to https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/unofficial-telegram-app-malicious-sites