Android Trojan passes off crafty RAT as ESET security software

The Russians are coming

Security firm ESET has discovered a crafty Android 'backdoor' remote access Trojan (RAT) passing itself off as a variety of apps, including the firm's own Mobile Security software.

What the app, 'Krysanec', was trying to do is pretty straightforward - fool users into downloading it on the assumption that it was what it said it was. The Android apps the malware impersonated included the mobile banking app of Russia's Sberbank, a data usage app called 3G Traffic Guard, and ESET's security app.

The good news is that the app was found on non-approved Russian app stores rather than Google's official Play Store and so represents a trifling risk to anyone beyond that territory for now.

More interestingly, the malware's dirty work is done by the off-the-shelf Java-based Unrecom RAT, which migrated from the PC world to Android some time last year. Abilities include taking photos, recording audio, noting GPS location, plus mining a variety of other data from the affected smartphone.

It's a strange tool to use to target Android users because it doesn't do the one thing that Russian malware usually does, namely set up toll fraud. As the RAT's control panel makes apparent, its intention is remote monitoring and data theft. Krysanec is more like a spying tool than a mechanism of straightforward commercial criminality which suggests it might be closer to household spyware than a fearsome threat.

Another interesting element of the malware is that some samples have been using command & control hosted by US-based (Vitalwerks,), recently involved in a legal tussle with Microsoft after the software giant seized control of some of its domains.

ESET's simple commandment is not to download Android software from anywhere other than the Google Play store, although the overwhelming majority of users don't do that anyway. The more subtle message is that, once again, Android is becoming the domain of tools that were once troblesome only for Windows users.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Personal TechGooglesecurityeset

More about

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place