Agent Smith

Agent Smith is mobile malware that generates financial gain by replacing legitimate applications on devices with malicious versions that include fraudulent ads. As of July 2019 Agent Smith had infected around 25 million devices, primarily targeting India though effects had been observed in other Asian countries as well as Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[1]

ID: S0440
Platforms: Android
Contributors: Aviran Hazum, Check Point; Sergey Persikov, Check Point
Version: 1.0
Created: 07 May 2020
Last Modified: 17 June 2020

Techniques Used

Domain ID Name Use
Mobile T1577 Compromise Application Executable

Agent Smith can inject fraudulent ad modules into existing applications on a device.[1]

Mobile T1404 Exploitation for Privilege Escalation

Agent Smith exploits known OS vulnerabilities, including Janus, to replace legitimate applications with malicious versions.[1]

Mobile T1643 Generate Traffic from Victim

Agent Smith shows fraudulent ads to generate revenue.[1]

Mobile T1628 .001 Hide Artifacts: Suppress Application Icon

Agent Smith can hide its icon from the application launcher.[1]

Mobile T1630 .002 Indicator Removal on Host: File Deletion

Agent Smith deletes infected applications’ update packages when they are detected on the system, preventing updates.[1]

Mobile T1406 .001 Obfuscated Files or Information: Steganography

Agent Smith’s core malware is disguised as a JPG file, and encrypted with an XOR cipher.[1]

Mobile T1424 Process Discovery

Agent Smith checks if a targeted application is running in user-space prior to infection.[1]

Mobile T1418 Software Discovery

Agent Smith obtains the device’s application list.[1]