Hackers Utilizing New Model of FurBall Android Malware to Spy on Iranian Residents

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

The Iranian menace actor often known as Home Kitten has been attributed to a brand new cellular marketing campaign that masquerades as a translation app to distribute an up to date variant of an Android malware often known as FurBall.

“Since June 2021, it has been distributed as a translation app by way of a copycat of an Iranian web site that gives translated articles, journals, and books,” ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko said in a report shared with The Hacker Information.

The updates, whereas retaining the identical surveillance performance as earlier variations, are designed to evade detection by safety options, the Slovak cybersecurity agency added.

Home Kitten, additionally known as APT-C-50, is an Iranian menace exercise cluster that has been beforehand recognized as concentrating on people of curiosity with the purpose of harvesting delicate data from compromised cellular units. It has been identified to be lively since at the very least 2016.


A tactical evaluation carried out by Pattern Micro in 2019 reveals Home Kitten’s potential connections to a different group known as Bouncing Golf, a cyber espionage marketing campaign concentrating on Center Jap international locations.

APT-C-50 has primarily singled out “Iranian residents that would pose a menace to the steadiness of the Iranian regime, together with inside dissidents, opposition forces, ISIS advocates, the Kurdish minority in Iran, and extra,” in keeping with Check Point.

Campaigns undertaken by the group have historically relied on luring potential victims into putting in a rogue utility by way of completely different assault vectors, together with Iranian weblog websites, Telegram channels, and SMS messages.

FurBall Android Malware

Regardless of the tactic employed, the apps act as a conduit to ship a bit of malware codenamed by the Israeli cybersecurity firm named Furball, a personalized model of KidLogger which comes with capabilities to collect and exfiltrate private knowledge from the units.

The newest iteration of the marketing campaign uncovered by ESET entails the app working underneath the guise of a translation service. Earlier covers used to hide malicious conduct span completely different classes reminiscent of safety, information, video games, and wallpaper apps.

The app (“sarayemaghale.apk“) is delivered by way of a faux web site mimicking downloadmaghaleh[.]com, a reliable website that gives articles and books translated from English to Persian.


What’s notable concerning the newest model is that whereas the core spy ware features are retained, the artifact requests just one permission to entry contacts, limiting it from accessing SMS messages, system location, name logs, and clipboard knowledge.

“The explanation may very well be its purpose to remain underneath the radar; then again, we additionally assume it’d sign it’s simply the previous section of a spear-phishing assault carried out by way of textual content messages,” Stefanko identified.

Regardless of this handicap, the Furball malware, in its current kind, can retrieve instructions from a distant server that enables it to collect contacts, recordsdata from exterior storage, an inventory of put in apps, fundamental system metadata, and synced person accounts.

The discount in lively app performance however, the pattern additional stands out for implementing an elementary code obfuscation scheme that is seen as an try and get previous safety obstacles.

“The Home Kitten marketing campaign remains to be lively, utilizing copycat web sites to focus on Iranian residents,” Stefanko mentioned. “The operator’s purpose has modified barely from distributing full-featured Android spy ware to a lighter variant.”

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general