Clipper Malware Found Masquerading as Legitimate Service on Google Play Store

Security researchers discovered a sample of clipper malware that targeted Android users by lurking in the Google Play store.

ESET first came across Android/Clipper.C masquerading as MetaMask, a service that allows users to access Ethereum-enabled distributed applications, in February 2019. This new threat is capable of stealing users’ credentials and private keys to gain access to their Ethereum funds. But Android/Clipper.C is a bit more sophisticated: It’s also a form of clipper malware in that it can replace a bitcoin or Ethereum wallet address copied from the clipboard with one under the attacker’s control.

ESET researchers discovered the malicious app on the Google Play store shortly after it became available for download on Feb. 1. They reported their findings to Google’s security team, which subsequently removed the app from the app marketplace.

Android/Clipper.C is not the only malware sample that’s impersonated MetaMask. Other programs used the MetaMask disguise to phish for sensitive data and steal access to users’ cryptocurrency funds.

The Growing Problem of Clipper Malware

Android/Clipper.C is just the latest instance of clipper malware to prey on users. In March 2018, ESET learned about one sample of this threat category targeting Monero users by masquerading as a Win32 Disk Imager application on download.com.

A few months later, Bleeping Computer discovered another cryptocurrency clipboard hijacker that was monitoring 2.3 million cryptocurrency addresses at the time of discovery. Dr.Web also uncovered an Android clipper in summer 2018, though this threat was not available for download on the Google Play store at that time.

How to Defend Against Disguised Malware Threats

Security professionals can help defend against threats like Android/Clipper.C by investing in a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution that can alert users when malware is detected and automatically uninstall infected apps. They should also leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to spot malicious behaviors and stop malware like Android/Clipper.C in its tracks.

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David Bisson

Contributing Editor

David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley...