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Security Alert: CI4 SMS Bot

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Security Alert: CI4 SMS Bot

22 June 2012

Lookout has identified a new SMS bot (a mechanism that allows for automatically sending SMS messages) that thus far has been distributed via email spam campaigns. When downloaded, the malware – which we’ve dubbed CI4 – sends identifying information off the infected device to a remote server. CI4′s most unique trait, however, is that it employs Twitter to obfuscate the data transmission channel: CI4 acquires its command and control host address from algorithmically generated Twitter accounts. Lookout has notified Twitter of the affected accounts and all Lookout users are automatically protected from this threat.

How it works

CI4 is seeded through a spam email campaign. If a smartphone user activates the download and follows through with installation, CI4 is installed without a launcher icon, making it difficult for users to recognize that their system is affected. Instead of relying on a user to open the app, CI4 is activated by system events broadcast when the device is powered on or woken up. Once installed and active, CI4 sends identifying device information to its command and control server that includes IMEI and phone number, along with identifying information about the malware itself that includes “bot id” and a list of “modules.” At this time, CI4 only appears to respond to a remote command to send arbitrary SMS content to a server-supplied number. It does not currently intercept or abort SMS broadcasts, meaning that its ability to defraud users via premium SMS messages is significantly diminished.

To remain flexible, CI4 uses Twitter’s social media system. CI4 acquires its command and control host from algorithmically generated twitter accounts. The following image shows C&C information being displayed by one of the generated accounts:


We’ve notified Twitter and requested action on the affected accounts.


Детект на 25 июня 2012: https://www.virustotal.com/file/fc9083a1e39...624e8/analysis/

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