Dubbed NotCompatible, the botnet is mainly used for instant message spam and rogue ticket purchases, but it could be used to launch targeted attacks against corporate networks because the malware allows attackers to use the infected devices as proxies.
Researchers from security firm Lookout said that the mobile Trojan was discovered in 2012 and was the first Android malware to be distributed as a drive-by download from compromised websites.
Devices visiting such sites would automatically start downloading a malicious Android application package file. Users would then see notifications about the finished downloads and would click on them, prompting the malicious application to install if their devices had the “unknown sources” setting enabled.
A newly found version of the Trojan program, called NotCompatible.C, encrypts its communications with the C&C servers, making the traffic indistinguishable from legitimate SSL, SSH or VPN traffic.
Lookout security researchers wrote in their bog that the malware can also communicate with other infected devices directly, forming a peer-to-peer network that offers powerful redundancy in case the main C&C servers are shut down.
The Lookout researchers believe that the botnet is likely rented to other cybercriminals for different activities and the Trojan’s proxy capability makes it a potential threat to corporates.
If a device infected with NotCompatible.C is brought into an organisation, it could give the botnet’s operators access to that organisation’s network, the Lookout researchers said.
“Using the NotCompatible proxy, an attacker could potentially do anything from enumerating vulnerable hosts inside the network, to exploiting vulnerabilities and search for exposed data.”
“We believe that NotCompatible is already present on many corporate networks because we have observed, via Lookout’s user base, hundreds of corporate networks with devices that have encountered NotCompatible,” the Lookout researchers said.
Ah, the unternet of thangs ain’t what they used to be.