In the last couple of months since our previous blog on Exobot
we have seen many different samples of the Exobot v2 Android banking malware pass by. They
have been busy developing new features for the bot to stay ahead of their competition.
Several of the changes in the bot we have seen are interesting enough to warrant a new blog
post, so here we go!
The most interesting feature that has been added to Exobot (in our opinion anyway) is the
module system. When the bot is started for the first time it will first try to obtain the
"main" module from the C2 server and will not do anything until it gets this
module. After the module is retrieved it is saved in the private app storage
(/data/data/packagename/) and loaded by a DexClassLoader.
The "main" module provides most of the default bot functions:
Main module functions
After the main module is loaded the bot will keep polling the server for additional modules to load (so far none are returned). Having this module system makes it easier to hide functionality (since it is not present in the bot by default) and sell pieces of functionality seperately. An example of another module could be one with socks proxy capabilities.
All strings used in the Exobot code are obfuscated. Going through all these strings we
noticed recent additions hinting to the implementation of a socks proxy:
Socks proxy related strings
Previously we've only seen hints of a socks proxy in the C2 code. This proxy functionality could make it easier for attackers to stay hidden and bypass ip-based fraud detection. So far the strings are not used in the current code, possibly indicating that the proxy code is placed in a module.
Network traffic encryption
Network traffic has received an upgrade in the form of an encryption layer. All requests and
responses (except for the module download) are now encrypted using AES/ECB/PKCS5Padding and
then base64 encoded:
Encrypted HTTP traffic
Decrypted HTTP traffic
The encryption key is a hex encoded MD5 hash of a string located in the same location as the other obfuscated strings (so far set to "not-cache"). Note that the "Cache-Control" header in the request is also set to this same value, making it easier to obtain it. Exobot v2 is the only Android banking malware with an additional encryption layer above TLS.
Some Exobot samples seem to have included additional obfuscation in the form of a loader: The
original application's classes.dex file is encrypted and included as an asset
file. When the Android app is started the loader decrypts the asset and uses a DexClassLoader
to load the classes.dex and replaces the loader application with the unpacked
application. This makes it a lot harder for static analysis tools to detect the malware and
manual analysis takes more time. The loader is fairly easily recognized by the asset file
(*.dat), the type of code obfuscation used and the fact that it implements a custom
Application class to do it's magic as soon as the app is started.
Obfuscated loader code
Samples with loader
(10 Jul 2017)
ca2cc26e81196a2031a5cdeda91a6624ba9d34e03e5b1448dd682b0215134d15 (10 May 2017)
77e26712490e8ec681881b584c5e381af0dcece21f0dcfa483661f125a399a2d (25 Apr 2017)
8e9bdb1f5a37471f3f50cc9d482ea63c377e84b73d9bae6d4f37ffe403b9924e (21 Apr 2017)
ca859564cfbfca3c99ab38c9cb30ad33ec9049fe67734bae9d9b69cd68845188 (17 Apr 2017)
59ada6b530bd2c7c15d8c552c7ebf3afcc14976bfa789a6e2c2fca3e354baab0 (11 Apr 2017)
For sale through a public website
Another noticeable change in tactics seems that the actors behind Exobot are selling their
service using publicly available website, including screenshots of their Panel.
Public website selling Exobot
Web injects in the Exobot panel
(25 Jul 2017)
da68cc23a89c2b794827e9f846ed5d1e371a1c14229696bc46a4d9ec380425d4 (25 Jul 2017)
498304e3f60abe29bb06661b21e579d5a25f104eb96ebf0d5d573ce9f8308b89 (19 Jul 2017)
690310a635b5c82c28a76332b83a7b34b8604e822ed8f8e4eb1f0be85c177c62 (16 Jul 2017)
ae4ed005f891101b297689530e9d07068e0a0779c7a03abe36f30b991b065ff9 (15 Jul 2017)
c28b6346d59a828ce319e94d08c35b530ae39fd5801d17e6f84a02a592621e2d (10 Jul 2017)
1cd3095b176520e4bf7d3fa86ec91e852ee93b2172c8bd3113f91e2569a7c481 (10 Jul 2017)
b8b424866ba77728034e231f295399f523154accf587424c9d42cbb1c8edba9e (09 Jul 2017)
92c560d55ac0943022be38404fee8fd70da53cca33d7e340ea98712af389f780 (07 Jul 2017)
856d1f7cf037e031dda4accc3454d84115bc91be488b74817580e541be6abbad (04 Jul 2017)
2d1d9cabf564bc9c3a37c21cd98c7c045453dc583fab4479fe12d8e4e70f339a (25 Jun 2017)
f6851790dc811b3a9acc425730ffeaab49c5cde4cb0a39cfcc659c4d29c908ad (22 Jun 2017)
10931ae2c165d4786fdd9585c419a6b1d2dd07d96242d26d23daab14d684f4e0 (21 Jun 2017)
Follow our threat hunters @ThreatFabric for updates.
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