Roaming Mantis Spreading Cellular Malware That Hijacks Wi-Fi Routers’ DNS Settings

Jan 20, 2023Ravie LakshmananCommunity Safety / Cellular Hacking

Risk actors related to the Roaming Mantis assault marketing campaign have been noticed delivering an up to date variant of their patent cell malware generally known as Wroba to infiltrate Wi-Fi routers and undertake Area Title System (DNS) hijacking.

Kaspersky, which carried out an analysis of the malicious artifact, stated the function is designed to focus on particular Wi-Fi routers situated in South Korea.

Roaming Mantis, also called Shaoye, is a long-running financially motivated operation that singles out Android smartphone customers with malware able to stealing checking account credentials in addition to harvesting other forms of delicate info.

Though primarily targeting the Asian region since 2018, the hacking crew was detected increasing its sufferer vary to incorporate France and Germany for the primary time in early 2022 by camouflaging the malware because the Google Chrome net browser software.

The assaults leverage smishing messages because the preliminary intrusion vector of option to ship a booby-trapped URL that both affords a malicious APK or redirects the sufferer to phishing pages based mostly on the working system put in within the cell gadgets.

Wi-Fi Routers' DNS Settings

Alternatively, some compromises have additionally leveraged Wi-Fi routers as a method to take unsuspecting customers to a faux touchdown web page through the use of a way referred to as DNS hijacking, by which DNS queries are manipulated with the intention to redirect targets to bogus websites.

Whatever the methodology used, the intrusions pave the way in which for the deployment of a malware dubbed Wroba (aka MoqHao and XLoader) that is outfitted to hold out a slew of nefarious actions.

The newest replace to Wroba, per the Russian cybersecurity firm, includes a DNS changer perform that is engineered to detect sure routers based mostly on their mannequin numbers and poison their DNS settings.

“The brand new DNS changer performance can handle all system communications utilizing the compromised Wi-Fi router, akin to redirecting to malicious hosts and disabling updates of safety merchandise,” Kaspersky researcher Suguru Ishimaru stated.

The underlying thought is to trigger gadgets related to the breached Wi-Fi router to be redirected to net pages managed by the risk actor for additional exploitation. Provided that a few of these pages ship the Wroba malware, the assault chain successfully creates a gradual stream of “bots” that may be weaponized to interrupt into wholesome Wi-Fi routers.

It is notable that the DNS changer program is completely utilized in South Korea. Nonetheless, the Wroba malware in itself has been noticed focusing on victims in Austria, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Turkey, and the U.S. by way of smishing.

Wroba is much from the one cell malware within the wild with DNS hijacking options. In 2016, Kaspersky unmasked one other Android trojan codenamed Switcher that assaults the wi-fi router whose community the contaminated system is related to and performs a brute-force assault with the aim of tampering with the DNS configurations.

“Customers with contaminated Android gadgets that connect with free or public Wi-Fi networks might unfold the malware to different gadgets on the community if the Wi-Fi community they’re related to is weak,” the researcher stated.

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