Financial institutions are being targeted by a new version of Android malware called SpyNote at least since October 2022 that combines both spyware and banking trojan characteristics.
“The reason behind this increase is that the developer of the spyware, who was previously selling it to other actors, made the source code public,” ThreatFabric said in a report shared with The Hacker News. “This has helped other actors [in] developing and distributing the spyware, often also targeting banking institutions.”
Some of the notable institutions that are impersonated by the malware include Deutsche Bank, HSBC U.K., Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Nubank.
SpyNote (aka SpyMax) is feature-rich and comes with a plethora of capabilities that allows it to install arbitrary; gather SMS messages, calls, videos, and audio recordings; track GPS locations; and even hinder efforts to uninstall the app.
It also follows the modus operandi of other banking malware by requesting for permissions to accessibility services to extract two-factor authentication (2FA) codes from Google Authenticator and record keystrokes to siphon banking credentials.