BRATA Malware Obtains Advanced Capabilities to Target Android Devices

  • By Patrick Ryan
  • Jun 23, 2022

The cybercriminals responsible for BRATA malware have enhanced their digital Frankenstein with a slew of additional features. The capabilities were implemented in Android mobile malware to make online aggressions against financial apps that much more covert and effective.

What Does BRATA Stand For?

BRATA is short for Brazilian Remote Access Tool Android. BRATA was initially identified in the wild in Brazil toward the end of 2018 and then reappeared in Europe last spring. BRATA originally operated in the form of antivirus software along with other tools used to enhance productivity, fooling targets into downloading them.

At this point, BRATA falls into the category of an APT, short for Advanced Persistent Threat

This term refers to digital attacks when criminals establish a permanent presence on the network to take highly sensitive and valuable information. The malware is advanced to the point that its altered attack pattern that escalated to new heights in the spring of 2022 designed the malware to attack certain financial institutions at specific moments in time, pivoting to a new financial institution after the target began incorporating defenses.

What Other Changes Were Made to BRATA?

BRATA’s rogue apps also include features that empower it to replicate the bank’s login page to obtain credentials, text messages, and sideload payloads of the second-stage variety. 

The information is plucked from a remote server to record events on the device that has been infiltrated.

Digital security specialists are adamant that a full account takeover attack could occur with a combination of a phishing page and obtaining targets’ text messages, making the threat more severe.

Is the Attack Zeroing in on Anyone in Particular?

Indeed, the app that steals text messages is allegedly zeroing in on targets in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and possibly several other countries. The aim of the attack is to obtain and exfiltrate incoming text messages tied to the one-time passcodes transmitted by financial institutions.

Digital security researchers state the initial malware campaigns were transmitted by way of phony antivirus software and additional methods such as apps. The malware has even changed as time has progressed to perform an APT-style offensive against a customer of a financial institution based in Italy.

How Long Does the BRATA Malware Attack Typically Last?

The data reveals that in most cases, the focus is on transmitting harmful applications that zero in on banks for an undefined period of time. In general, the average BRATA attack typically lasts around a couple of months though there is no set timetable for the duration of this malware attack. 

Crunch the numbers, and you’ll find they reveal a two-month trend, showing the focus is on transmitting harmful applications to certain financial institutions for two months, then progressing to the next target.

Is There Anything Businesses and Everyday People can do to Combat the Threat?

If your computers and network are not protected by antivirus software and other digital safeguards, now is the time to add those essential forms of protection. If you have not updated your digital defenses in recent months, perform an upgrade, and your business or home computer will stand a much better chance of withstanding a digital attack.

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