The procedure to block Strandhogg malware and how to protect Android apps against overlay attacks

Malware is known to adopt and evolves based on the conditions that it encounters in the environment. Strand hogg and Strand hogg 2.0 are the perfect examples of this form of variant. It has to be stated that this variant has become popular over a point of time, and how all of the variants go on to abuse the normal Android functions and target those specific apps that use this app. They are known to resort to a combination of trickery, escalation, and privilege along with the use of Android functions to evade that expands the attack surface along with the manners by which it would prevent mobile fraud.

What the Strandhogg is all about?

Strandhogg is an Android vulnerability that you may come across where a mobile app intimates legitimate Android apps. It goes on to use the functionality of the Android app in an abusive manner where a malicious app may hack a legitimate app that is operational on the same device. This goes on to expose the private messages along with photos, log-in details, phone conversations, GPS movements, and a lot more.

Strandhogg is known to be using multiple methods to expose the Android functions that exploit vulnerabilities as part of an overlay attack. What tends to happen in an overlay attack is the developed malware tricks the mobile users. And to interact with malicious content that is hidden from the users. It is concealed, tapped, or hidden in such a manner that it would be really difficult to find out the original source.

The malware is designed in such a manner that it conceptually matches up with the logic of an app or interaction patterns to deceive the users. It may give them a feeling that the desired action may turn out to be beneficial for them. But if you observe the reality things work out to be the truth. Normally this tends to occur in the form of a privilege escalation. And where it is going to allow you to take control over the environment. This may assume the identity of a user and a lot of things may come to the fore.

So that an overlay attack turns out to be successful, the malicious content should be visible to the users, and it is acceptable by malware detection software and the methods of Strandhogg to be abusing Android functions that is done. A lot of information about overlay attacks can be obtained from various sources.

The working of Strand Hogg

In all the versions of Strandhogg, a malicious app is being installed on the Android device. And that is operational in the background. It would then use hijacking to impersonate the legitimate apps which are on the same device. This normally tends to occur via an overlay attack. When you click a normal button on an app it would trick a user to showcase their sensitive information. This would allow an attacker to steal codes, bypassing the multi-factor authentication or initiating a click bot. And that would barrage a series of automated clicks

Let us explain things with the help of an example. Strandhogg can go on to impersonate a regular app. And that would trick the users into providing permissions to the legitimate app. The user would be of the opinion that they are providing permissions to the genuine app. If this attack is successful, it would allow an attacker to take over an app, and conduct ransomware attacks. And record conversations. And a lot more things.

How Strand Hogg 2.0 tends to be different from the earlier versions?

The Strand hogg 2.0 is an updated version of an overlay malware that tends to use various exploit methods. This sets the tone for a greater scale and would make it really hard to detect. It is known to carry about the exploits with the aid of reflection that would allow the malware to assume the legality of an original app. It is during the runtime at the single click of a button. Even it is tailored in such a manner that it is going to match up with the legitimacy of the original apps. Now in the earlier versions of Strandhogg, in the Android manifest, all the required permissions had to be declared upfront. For this reason, it could be carried on an app one at a time. But with this version, it is possible to exploit a series of apps at a single time.

The techniques of mitigation along with the issues

Simply placing a code is not going to work. It does not work out to be a complete example as there are some other things that an attacker needs to do so that it works. And this is something that cannot be shared. But it is something that they are not used to sharing on their own. And but it is a part of it that would make it dangerous. Strand Hogg 2.0 is an easy one to implement, though it may turn out to be a difficult one to mitigate. It is suggested that you take help from platforms like appsealing which are going to guide you about the entire process.

The process of mitigation does not mean that you will go on to blacklist. And all the apps as there would be a lot of legitimate users. It would also be difficult to automate a detection algorithm for the same. A malicious developer can employ all types of tricks, for effective implementation of Strand Hogg 2.0.

Once you take into account, reflection, obfuscation, or the different form of coding styles it would seem impractical to automatically detect an app that makes use of this object. What is more that if a user is subject to this form of attack, they are not going to be aware of it. If you move on to Gmail and see you will find that the session has expired. But this may not be the case.

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