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Android Devices At Risk As US And UK Intel Agencies Raise Alarm

  • September 2, 2023

The crypto space, long viewed as particularly vulnerable to cyber criminals due to its nascent stage, faces fresh malware threats. A recent joint report from top intelligence agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom underscores this ongoing cyber tug-of-war.

The joint advisory, which encompasses a significant international collaboration, alarms the emergence of a newly identified malware, “Infamous Chisel,” that threatens Android device users in the crypto user base.

Unmasking The ‘Infamous Chisel’

Piercing deeper into the report’s findings, the roots of this malware can be traced back to the clandestine activities of Sandworm. This cyber warfare unit, believed to function under the aegis of the GRU – Russia’s military intelligence agency- has previously gained notoriety in cyber espionage.

Notably, the report was issued by esteemed agencies, including the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Their recent endeavors reportedly target Android devices specifically used by the Ukrainian military. Using “Infamous Chisel,” Sandworm’s objective appears to be pulling out critical information from affected mobile units.

Interestingly, according to the report, the malware’s reach isn’t limited to military targets. Key players within the crypto space, notably platforms such as Binance, Coinbase, and the Trust Wallet application, have also been identified as targets.

The report underscores the indiscriminate nature of data extraction, where every file housed within these platforms’ directories faces potential exfiltration.

Beware: Android Users And Crypto Platforms

The “Infamous Chisel” overall method is a cause for concern. According to the report, the malware seems to show little effort to hide its malicious undertakings, but its presence is still concerning.

The report disclosed that the possible reason behind such boldness might be the general absence of efficient host-based detection systems tailored for Android devices.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t an isolated incident of malware discovery in recent times. In July, a sophisticated malware named “Realst” surfaced, targeting both macOS and Windows users came to light.

As Bitcoinist reported, this malware camouflages itself as counterfeit blockchain-based games like Brawl Earth and Dawnland. It propagates primarily via social media campaigns and direct messages, trapping unsuspecting users.

Tragically, when these users are deceived into using the provided access codes to enter the threat actor’s website, their devices become susceptible to breaches. Realst operates covertly, pilfering crucial data from browsers and crypto wallet applications, jeopardizing personal details and valuable digital holdings.

The global crypto market cap value on TradingView
The global cryptocurrency market cap value on the 1-day chart. Source: Crypto TOTAL Market Cap on TradingView.com

Featured image from iStock, Chart from TradingView

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