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HomeBig DataFaux Bahrain Authorities Android App Steals Private Knowledge Used for Monetary Fraud

Faux Bahrain Authorities Android App Steals Private Knowledge Used for Monetary Fraud

Authored by Dexter Shin

Many authorities businesses present their companies on-line for the comfort of their residents. Additionally, if this service may very well be offered by means of a cellular app, it could be very handy and accessible. However what occurs when malware pretends to be these companies?

McAfee Cellular Analysis Staff discovered an InfoStealer Android malware pretending to be a authorities company service in Bahrain. This malware pretends to be the official app of Bahrain and advertises that customers can renew or apply for driver’s licenses, visas, and ID playing cards on cellular. Customers who’re deceived by commercials that they’re obtainable on cellular can be supplied with the mandatory private info for these companies surely. They attain customers in varied methods, together with Fb and SMS messages. Customers who are usually not conversant in these assaults simply make the error of sending private info.

Detailed pretended app

In Bahrain, there’s a authorities company referred to as the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA). This company operates with full monetary and administrative independence below the steering of a board of administrators chaired by the Minister of Labour. They supply quite a lot of cellular companies, and most apps present just one service per app. Nonetheless, this faux app promotes offering a couple of service.

Determine 1. Professional official LMRA web site

Determine 2. Faux app named LMRA

Excluding essentially the most often discovered faux apps pretending LMRA, there are numerous faux apps included Financial institution of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK), BenefitPay, a fintech firm in Bahrain, and even apps pretending to be associated to Bitcoin or loans. These apps use the identical strategies because the LMRA faux apps to steal private info.

Determine 3. Numerous faux apps utilizing the identical strategies

From the kind of app that this malware pretends, we are able to guess that the aim is monetary fraud to make use of the non-public info it has stolen. Furthermore, somebody has been affected by this marketing campaign as proven within the image under.

Determine 4. Victims of monetary fraud (Supply: Reddit)

Distribution methodology

They distribute these apps utilizing Fb pages and SMS messages. Fb pages are faux and malware creator is consistently creating new pages. These pages direct customers to phishing websites, both WordPress weblog websites or customized websites designed to obtain apps.

Determine 5. Fb profile and web page with a hyperlink to the phishing website

Determine 6. One of many phishing websites designed to obtain app

Within the case of SMS, social engineering messages are despatched to trick customers into clicking a hyperlink in order that they really feel the necessity to urgently verify.

Determine 7. Phishing message utilizing SMS (Supply: Reddit)

What they need

When the consumer launches the app, the app reveals a big professional icon for customers to be mistaken. And it asks for the CPR and telephone quantity. The CPR quantity is an unique 9-digit identifier given to every resident in Bahrain. There’s a “Confirm” button, however it’s merely a button to ship info to the C2 server. If customers enter their info, it goes on to the following display screen with out verification. This step simply shops the data for the following step.

Determine 8. The primary display screen (left) and subsequent display screen of a faux app (proper)

There are numerous menus, however they’re all linked to the identical URL. The parameter worth is the CPR and telephone numbers enter by the consumer on the primary display screen.

Determine 9. All menus are linked to the identical URL

The final web page asks for the consumer’s full identify, electronic mail, and date of start. After inputting all the things and clicking the “Ship” button, all info inputted thus far can be despatched to the malware creator’s c2 server.

Determine 10. All information despatched to C2 server

After sending, it reveals a completion web page to trick the consumer. It reveals a message saying you’ll obtain an electronic mail inside 24 hours. However it’s only a counter that decreases robotically. So, it does nothing after 24 hours. In different phrases, whereas customers are ready for the affirmation electronic mail for twenty-four hours, cybercriminals will exploit the stolen info to steal victims’ monetary property.

Determine 11. Completion web page to trick customers

As well as, they’ve a payload for stealing SMS. This app has a receiver that works when SMS is obtained. In order quickly as SMS comes, it sends an SMS message to the C2 server with out notifying the consumer.

Determine 12. Payload for stealing SMS

Dynamic loading of phishing websites through Firebase

We confirmed that there are two forms of these apps. There’s a kind that implements a customized C2 server and receives information instantly by means of internet API, and one other kind is an app that makes use of Firebase. Firebase is a backend service platform offered by Google. Amongst many companies, Firestore can retailer information as a database. This malware makes use of Firestore. As a result of it’s a professional service offered by Google, it’s tough to detect as a malicious URL.

For apps that use Firebase, dynamically load phishing URLs saved in Firestore. Due to this fact, even when a phishing website is blocked, it’s potential to reply shortly to keep up already put in victims by altering the URL saved in Firestore.

Determine 13. Dynamically loading phishing website loaded in webview

We reported the Firebase URLs associated to this risk to Google they usually took immediate enforcement motion on them so they don’t seem to be obtainable anymore.


Based on our detection telemetry information, there are 62 customers have already used this app in Bahrain. Nonetheless, since this information is a quantity on the time of writing, this quantity is anticipated to proceed to extend, contemplating that new Fb pages are nonetheless being actively created.

Latest malware tends to focus on particular international locations or customers relatively than widespread assaults. These assaults could also be tough for basic customers to differentiate as a result of malware precisely makes use of the elements wanted by customers dwelling in a selected nation. So we advocate customers set up safe software program to guard their gadgets. Additionally, customers are inspired to obtain and use apps from official app shops like Google Play Retailer or Apple AppStore. Should you can’t discover an app in these shops, you could obtain the app offered on the official web site.

McAfee Cellular Safety already detects this risk as Android/InfoStealer. For extra info, go to McAfee Cellular Safety.

Indicators of Compromise (IOCs)


SHA256 Bundle Identify App Identify
6f6d86e60814ad7c86949b7b5c212b83ab0c4da65f0a105693c48d9b5798136c com.ariashirazi.instabrowser LMRA
5574c98c9df202ec7799c3feb87c374310fa49a99838e68eb43f5c08ca08392d com.npra.bahrain.5 LMRA Bahrain
b7424354c356561811e6af9d8f4f4e5b0bf6dfe8ad9d57f4c4e13b6c4eaccafb com.npra.bahrain.5 LMRA Bahrain
f9bdeca0e2057b0e334c849ff918bdbe49abd1056a285fed1239c9948040496a com.lmra.9.lmranine LMRA
bf22b5dfc369758b655dda8ae5d642c205bb192bbcc3a03ce654e6977e6df730 com.stich.inches Visa Replace
8c8ffc01e6466a3e02a4842053aa872119adf8d48fd9acd686213e158a8377ba com.ariashirazi.instabrowser EasyLoan
164fafa8a48575973eee3a33ee9434ea07bd48e18aa360a979cc7fb16a0da819 com.ariashirazi.instabrowser BTC Flasher
94959b8c811fdcfae7c40778811a2fcc4c84fbdb8cde483abd1af9431fc84b44 com.ariashirazi.instabrowser BenefitPay
d4d0b7660e90be081979bfbc27bbf70d182ff1accd829300255cae0cb10fe546 com.lymors.lulumoney BBK Mortgage App


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Firebase (for C2):

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