The Marcher Android banking trojan has received a significant update this past month and is now capable of targeting UK banks, along its usual list that until now has included banks from Germany, Austria, France, Australia, Turkey, and a few other more.
To better understand why Marcher is now extremely dangerous and why UK users should be very wary of what they install on their phones, a short lesson in Marcher history is needed.
Marcher evolved from credit card data stealer to full mobile banking trojan
The malware first appeared in late 2013 and in its beginning was only able to show overlays on top of the user’s Google Play app, asking him to enter his credit card details.
As time went by, the trojan evolved and began targeting banking apps, showing the same overlay, but tweaked to collect banking credentials. In the beginning, it was one large German bank, but the list kept growing to include countries all over the world.
Marcher can also intercept and redirect calls and SMS messages, a function that’s useful for bypassing a bank’s 2FA system. Additionally, these features are also used to place calls or SMS messages to premium numbers, allowing the crook to make some extra cash on the side.
The crooks didn’t leave any chance to monetize their threat, and the trojan also received updates in order to target all sorts of social networking and mobile payment apps, not just banks.
Marcher sold on the underground malware market
the trojan is most likely developed by a Russian-speaking developer, selling it via Russian underground cyber-crime forums, either directly or through intermediaries.
Despite all these features that allow it to phish for banking credentials, the security firm claims that there’s been a period of calm in terms of bank credentials phishing. Things changed in May, when Marcher’s developer added support for nine big UK banks, and returned to banking apps credentials phishing.
Furthermore, the trojan is now also capable of showing phishing overlays inside mobile browsers, similar to how desktop banking trojans work. Previously, Marcher only showed fullscreen overlays that covered the user’s entire phone display.
Marcher can now detect and bypass mobile AV solutions
To counteract the proliferation of mobile antivirus solutions, which are becoming the norm on mobile devices, the trojan now also comes hardcoded with support to evade at least eight mobile antivirus apps.
The current Marcher distribution and infection campaign relies on SMS and email spam that lures users into downloading afor their mobile device.
Users should avoid installing apps from outside the Google Play Store, and avoid giving any app administrator privileges unless it’s for a well-known and trusted source.