Adversaries may abuse clipboard functionality to intercept and replace information in the Android device clipboard. Malicious applications may monitor the clipboard activity through the
ClipboardManager.OnPrimaryClipChangedListener interface on Android to determine when the clipboard contents have changed. Listening to clipboard activity, reading the clipboard contents, and modifying the clipboard contents requires no explicit application permissions and can be performed by applications running in the background, however, this behavior has changed with the release of Android 10.
Adversaries may use Clipboard Modification to replace text prior to being pasted, for example, replacing a copied Bitcoin wallet address with a wallet address that is under adversarial control.
Clipboard Modification had been seen within the Android/Clipper.C trojan. This sample had been detected by ESET in an application distributed through the Google Play Store targeting cryptocurrency wallet numbers.
Applications could be vetted for their use of the clipboard manager APIs with extra scrutiny given to application that make use of them.
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Android 10 prevents applications from accessing clipboard data unless the application is on the foreground or is set as the device’s default input method editor (IME).
Modifying clipboard content can be difficult to detect, and therefore enterprises may be better served focusing on detection at other stages of adversarial behavior.
- ESET. (2019, February 11). First clipper malware discovered on Google Play.. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
- Lukáš Štefanko. (2019, February 8). First clipper malware discovered on Google Play. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
- Zhang, X; Du, W. (2014, January). Attacks on Android Clipboard. Retrieved July 26, 2019.