According to security researchers, the “Black Rose Lucy” malware botnet has incorporated ransomware capabilities into its attack toolkit.

Check Point Research learned of the return of Black Rose Lucy, also referred to as Lucy, after an Android malware researcher tweeted about it. The security firm subsequently collected some samples and found that the malware was masquerading as a video player application. Under that disguise, the malicious app attempted to trick users into enabling Accessibility Services for the purpose of minimizing the amount of user interaction needed to ultimately install the ransomware payload. It also used two commands that instructed the device to keep both its screen and its Wi-Fi connectivity on.

Upon connecting to one of four of its command-and-control (C&C) servers, the malware received a string called “Key” as a response. The threat then used a service to fetch an array of the infected device’s directories. Using this information, Lucy set to work encrypting all of the files stored in the identified arrays. It’s at that point that it displayed a ransom note that appeared to come from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This message informed victims that law enforcement officials had found pornographic content on their device and that they needed to pay a fine of $500 for investigators to dismiss their offense.

A Look Back at Black Rose Lucy

Black Rose Lucy malware did not have ransomware capabilities at the time of its discovery by Check Point back in 2018. At that time, the malware-as-a-service (MaaS) botnet relied on two components for its malicious activity. Lucy Loader acted as the first element in serving as a remote control dashboard for the purpose of incorporating infected devices into a botnet and installing additional malware payloads. The second resource, Black Rose Dropper, targeted Android devices by collecting their information and retrieving secondary malware from the botnet’s C&C servers.

Securing the Business From Black Rose Lucy Malware

Security professionals can help defend their organizations against Lucy malware by leveraging robust policies to enforce mobile security best practices. Those guidelines should include limiting the types of locations and developers from which employees can install apps onto their work devices. Additionally, infosec personnel should consider using tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help defend against sophisticated threats such as Android ransomware.

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