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

Name Description
Adups

Adups transmitted contact lists.[1]

Android/Chuli.A

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

AndroRAT

AndroRAT collects contact list information.[3]

Anubis

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

Cerberus

Cerberus can obtain the device’s contact list.[5]

Charger

Charger steals contacts from the victim user's device.[6]

Corona Updates

Corona Updates can collect device contacts.[7]

Desert Scorpion

Desert Scorpion can collect the device’s contact list.[8]

eSurv

eSurv can exfiltrate the device’s contact list.[9]

Exodus

Exodus Two can download the address book.[10]

FakeSpy

FakeSpy can collect the device’s contact list.[11]

FlexiSpy

FlexiSpy can collect device contacts.[12]

Ginp

Ginp can download the device’s contact list.[13]

GolfSpy

GolfSpy can obtain the device’s contact list.[14]

Gustuff

Gustuff can collect the contact list.[15]

INSOMNIA

INSOMNIA can collect the device’s contact list.[16]

Mandrake

Mandrake can access the device’s contact list.[17]

Monokle

Monokle can retrieve the device's contact list.[18]

Pallas

Pallas accesses the device contact list.[19]

Pegasus for Android

Pegasus for Android accesses contact list information.[20]

Pegasus for iOS

Pegasus for iOS gathers contacts from the system by dumping the victim's address book.[21]

Riltok

Riltok can access and upload the device's contact list to the command and control server.[22]

Rotexy

Rotexy can access and upload the contacts list to the command and control server.[23]

SpyDealer

SpyDealer harvests contact lists from victims.[24]

SpyNote RAT

SpyNote RAT can view contacts.[25]

Stealth Mango

Stealth Mango uploads contact lists for various third-party applications such as Yahoo, AIM, GoogleTalk, Skype, QQ, and others.[26]

ViperRAT

ViperRAT can collect the device’s contact list.[27]

WolfRAT

WolfRAT can collect the device’s contact list.[28]

Mitigations

Mitigation Description
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. Threat Fabric. (2019, August). Cerberus - A new banking Trojan from the underworld. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  6. Oren Koriat and Andrey Polkovnichenko. (2017, January 24). Charger Malware Calls and Raises the Risk on Google Play. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  7. T. Bao, J. Lu. (2020, April 14). Coronavirus Update App Leads to Project Spy Android and iOS Spyware. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  8. 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.
  9. A. Bauer. (2019, April 8). Lookout discovers phishing sites distributing new iOS and Android surveillanceware. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  10. Security Without Borders. (2019, March 29). Exodus: New Android Spyware Made in Italy. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  11. O. Almkias. (2020, July 1). FakeSpy Masquerades as Postal Service Apps Around the World. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  12. Actis B. (2017, April 22). FlexSpy Application Analysis. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  13. ThreatFabric. (2019, November). Ginp - A malware patchwork borrowing from Anubis. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  14. E. Xu, G. Guo. (2019, June 28). Mobile Cyberespionage Campaign ‘Bouncing Golf’ Affects Middle East. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  1. Vitor Ventura. (2019, April 9). Gustuff banking botnet targets Australia . Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  2. I. Beer. (2019, August 29). Implant Teardown. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  3. 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.
  4. Bauer A., Kumar A., Hebeisen C., et al. (2019, July). Monokle: The Mobile Surveillance Tooling of the Special Technology Center. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  5. Blaich, A., et al. (2018, January 18). Dark Caracal: Cyber-espionage at a Global Scale. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  6. Mike Murray. (2017, April 3). Pegasus for Android: the other side of the story emerges. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  7. Lookout. (2016). Technical Analysis of Pegasus Spyware. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  8. Tatyana Shishkova. (2019, June 25). Riltok mobile Trojan: A banker with global reach. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  9. T. Shishkova, L. Pikman. (2018, November 22). The Rotexy mobile Trojan – banker and ransomware. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  10. Wenjun Hu, Cong Zheng and Zhi Xu. (2017, July 6). SpyDealer: Android Trojan Spying on More Than 40 Apps. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  11. Shivang Desai. (2017, January 23). SpyNote RAT posing as Netflix app. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  12. Lookout. (n.d.). Stealth Mango & Tangelo. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  13. M. Flossman. (2017, February 16). ViperRAT: The mobile APT targeting the Israeli Defense Force that should be on your radar. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  14. W. Mercer, P. Rascagneres, V. Ventura. (2020, May 19). The wolf is back... . Retrieved July 20, 2020.