Access Contact List

An adversary could call standard operating system APIs from a malicious application to gather contact list (i.e., address book) data, or with escalated privileges could directly access files containing contact list data.

ID: T1432
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic Type: Post-Adversary Device Access
Tactic: Collection
Platforms: Android, iOS
MTC ID: APP-13
Version: 1.0
Created: 25 October 2017
Last Modified: 17 October 2018

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0309 Adups

Adups transmitted contact lists.[1]

S0304 Android/Chuli.A

Android/Chuli.A stole contact list data stored both on the the phone and the SIM card.[2]

S0292 AndroRAT

AndroRAT collects contact list information.[3]

S0422 Anubis

Anubis can steal the device’s contact list.[4]

S0540 Asacub

Asacub can collect the device’s contact list.[5]

S0480 Cerberus

Cerberus can obtain the device’s contact list.[6]

S0323 Charger

Charger steals contacts from the victim user's device.[7]

S0425 Corona Updates

Corona Updates can collect device contacts.[8]

S0505 Desert Scorpion

Desert Scorpion can collect the device’s contact list.[9]

S0550 DoubleAgent

DoubleAgent has accessed the contact list.[10]

S0507 eSurv

eSurv can exfiltrate the device’s contact list.[11]

S0522 Exobot

Exobot can access the device’s contact list.[12]

S0405 Exodus

Exodus Two can download the address book.[13]

S0509 FakeSpy

FakeSpy can collect the device’s contact list.[14]

S0408 FlexiSpy

FlexiSpy can collect device contacts.[15]

S0423 Ginp

Ginp can download the device’s contact list.[16]

S0535 Golden Cup

Golden Cup can collect the device’s contact list.[17]

S0551 GoldenEagle

GoldenEagle has collected a list of contacts.[10]

S0421 GolfSpy

GolfSpy can obtain the device’s contact list.[18]

S0536 GPlayed

GPlayed can access the device’s contact list.[19]

S0406 Gustuff

Gustuff can collect the contact list.[20]

S0544 HenBox

HenBox can access the device’s contact list.[21]

S0463 INSOMNIA

INSOMNIA can collect the device’s contact list.[22]

S0485 Mandrake

Mandrake can access the device’s contact list.[23]

S0407 Monokle

Monokle can retrieve the device's contact list.[24]

S0399 Pallas

Pallas accesses the device contact list.[25]

S0316 Pegasus for Android

Pegasus for Android accesses contact list information.[26]

S0289 Pegasus for iOS

Pegasus for iOS gathers contacts from the system by dumping the victim's address book.[27]

S0539 Red Alert 2.0

Red Alert 2.0 can collect the device’s contact list.[28]

S0403 Riltok

Riltok can access and upload the device's contact list to the command and control server.[29]

S0411 Rotexy

Rotexy can access and upload the contacts list to the command and control server.[30]

S0549 SilkBean

SilkBean can access device contacts.[10]

S0324 SpyDealer

SpyDealer harvests contact lists from victims.[31]

S0305 SpyNote RAT

SpyNote RAT can view contacts.[32]

S0328 Stealth Mango

Stealth Mango uploads contact lists for various third-party applications such as Yahoo, AIM, GoogleTalk, Skype, QQ, and others.[33]

S0558 Tiktok Pro

Tiktok Pro can access the device's contact list.[34]

S0506 ViperRAT

ViperRAT can collect the device’s contact list.[35]

G0112 Windshift

Windshift has included contact list exfiltration in the malicious apps deployed as part of Operation BULL.[36]

S0489 WolfRAT

WolfRAT can collect the device’s contact list.[37]

Mitigations

ID Mitigation Description
M1005 Application Vetting

On Android, accessing the device contact list requires that the app hold the READ_CONTACTS permission. Apps that request this permission could be closely scrutinized to ensure that the request is appropriate. On iOS, the app vetting process can determine whether apps access the device contact list, with extra scrutiny applied to any that do so.

Detection

On both Android (6.0 and up) and iOS, the user can view which applications have permission to access contact list information through the device settings screen, and the user can choose to revoke the permissions.

References

  1. Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt. (2016, November 15). Secret Back Door in Some U.S. Phones Sent Data to China, Analysts Say. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  2. Costin Raiu, Denis Maslennikov, Kurt Baumgartner. (2013, March 26). Android Trojan Found in Targeted Attack. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  3. Lookout. (2016, May 25). 5 active mobile threats spoofing enterprise apps. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  4. M. Feller. (2020, February 5). Infostealer, Keylogger, and Ransomware in One: Anubis Targets More than 250 Android Applications. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  5. T. Shishkova. (2018, August 28). The rise of mobile banker Asacub. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  6. Threat Fabric. (2019, August). Cerberus - A new banking Trojan from the underworld. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  7. Oren Koriat and Andrey Polkovnichenko. (2017, January 24). Charger Malware Calls and Raises the Risk on Google Play. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  8. T. Bao, J. Lu. (2020, April 14). Coronavirus Update App Leads to Project Spy Android and iOS Spyware. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  9. A. Blaich, M. Flossman. (2018, April 16). Lookout finds new surveillanceware in Google Play with ties to known threat actor targeting the Middle East. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  10. A. Kumar, K. Del Rosso, J. Albrecht, C. Hebeisen. (2020, June 1). Mobile APT Surveillance Campaigns Targeting Uyghurs - A collection of long-running Android tooling connected to a Chinese mAPT actor. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  11. A. Bauer. (2019, April 8). Lookout discovers phishing sites distributing new iOS and Android surveillanceware. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  12. Threat Fabric. (2017, February). Exobot - Android banking Trojan on the rise. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  13. Security Without Borders. (2019, March 29). Exodus: New Android Spyware Made in Italy. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  14. O. Almkias. (2020, July 1). FakeSpy Masquerades as Postal Service Apps Around the World. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  15. Actis B. (2017, April 22). FlexSpy Application Analysis. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  16. ThreatFabric. (2019, November). Ginp - A malware patchwork borrowing from Anubis. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  17. R. Iarchy, E. Rynkowski. (2018, July 5). GoldenCup: New Cyber Threat Targeting World Cup Fans. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  18. E. Xu, G. Guo. (2019, June 28). Mobile Cyberespionage Campaign ‘Bouncing Golf’ Affects Middle East. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  19. V. Ventura. (2018, October 11). GPlayed Trojan - .Net playing with Google Market . Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  1. Vitor Ventura. (2019, April 9). Gustuff banking botnet targets Australia . Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  2. A. Hinchliffe, M. Harbison, J. Miller-Osborn, et al. (2018, March 13). HenBox: The Chickens Come Home to Roost. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  3. I. Beer. (2019, August 29). Implant Teardown. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  4. R. Gevers, M. Tivadar, R. Bleotu, A. M. Barbatei, et al.. (2020, May 14). Uprooting Mandrake: The Story of an Advanced Android Spyware Framework That Went Undetected for 4 Years. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  5. Bauer A., Kumar A., Hebeisen C., et al. (2019, July). Monokle: The Mobile Surveillance Tooling of the Special Technology Center. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  6. Blaich, A., et al. (2018, January 18). Dark Caracal: Cyber-espionage at a Global Scale. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  7. Mike Murray. (2017, April 3). Pegasus for Android: the other side of the story emerges. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  8. Lookout. (2016). Technical Analysis of Pegasus Spyware. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  9. J. Chandraiah. (2018, July 23). Red Alert 2.0: Android Trojan targets security-seekers. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  10. Tatyana Shishkova. (2019, June 25). Riltok mobile Trojan: A banker with global reach. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  11. T. Shishkova, L. Pikman. (2018, November 22). The Rotexy mobile Trojan – banker and ransomware. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  12. Wenjun Hu, Cong Zheng and Zhi Xu. (2017, July 6). SpyDealer: Android Trojan Spying on More Than 40 Apps. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  13. Shivang Desai. (2017, January 23). SpyNote RAT posing as Netflix app. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  14. Lookout. (n.d.). Stealth Mango & Tangelo. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  15. S. Desai. (2020, September 8). TikTok Spyware. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  16. M. Flossman. (2017, February 16). ViperRAT: The mobile APT targeting the Israeli Defense Force that should be on your radar. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  17. The Blackberry Research & Intelligence Team. (2020, October). BAHAMUT: Hack-for-Hire Masters of Phishing, Fake News, and Fake Apps. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  18. W. Mercer, P. Rascagneres, V. Ventura. (2020, May 19). The wolf is back... . Retrieved July 20, 2020.