Rogue RAT

The Rogue RAT is a Remote Access Trojan that provides data-collecting attacks and a backdoor into the device. Due to its selling on the dark Web, third-parties may use unpredictable and various infection exploits or tactics. Users should be mindful of any Android downloads that request unusual permissions and have dedicated security solutions for efficient removal of the Rogue RAT.

Why Monitoring Application Permissions Pays Off for Careful Android Users

Although it's far from the first case of Trojans 'for hire' (see also the vast Ransomware-as-a-Service industry), Rogue RAT is another example of a high-level threat selling its services to low-level threat actors. As a fully-fledged backdoor-capable threat with complete spyware-style functionality, it provides criminals without programming talent the capacity for collecting data. It also leaves sparse symptoms besides those in its installation.

Android phone users' primary clue to the Rogue RAT's installation is the excessive permissions it requests. If the user declines, it asks them until acceptance repeatedly – nagging the victim into taking threatening actions. After that, the Rogue RAT hides its icon and takes over the device with administrator privileges.

Malware researchers are unsurprised by the Rogue RAT's features of general-purpose data exfiltration:

  • Keylogging (recording typing)
  • Capturing screenshots
  • Hijacking the camera
  • Recording audio calls

The Trojan caps all of these features off with a notification service that lets attackers monitor the user's device for incoming alerts, pop-ups, etc. This functionality gives the threat actor more-specialized data theft opportunities according to the circumstances. It also obfuscates its identity with Firebase, a mobile application platform.

Kicking a Dashing Rogue Off the Android Doorstep

The Rogue RAT requires no programming talents, and criminals may control it – and, by extension, infected phones – through a remote smartphone interface. Because the Rogue RAT isn't limited to an individual group or attacker, malware researchers hesitate to suggest any firm limits to its infection methods.

In general, Android users should be attentive to their downloads, especially applications from unknown websites. Installing applications outside of curated storefronts like Google's Play Store always carries some risks. Users also may disable risky browser features, like JavaScript, check their passwords for weaknesses and install security-impacting software updates.

Although the Rogue RAT is a sole danger to Android smartphones, Remote Access Trojans boasting of similar attacks are available to threat actors looking for them. All owners of network-connected devices should keep proper security and anti-malware services for removing the Rogue RAT and Trojans similar to it on sight.

Business and morality aren't always hand-in-hand, and the Rogue RAT is an amoral tool in the hands of profit-happy threat actors. While phone owners might hope that criminals would put their talents to network penetration testing or equally-legitimate uses, they should protect themselves and their information in remembrance of how cheap buying a Trojan can be.


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