Social Media Hijacking Malware Spreading Through Gaming Apps on Microsoft Store

A new malware capable of controlling social media accounts is being distributed through Microsoft’s official app store in the form of trojanized gaming apps, infecting more than 5,000 Windows machines in Sweden, Bulgaria, Russia, Bermuda, and Spain.

Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point dubbed the malware “Electron Bot,” in reference to a command-and-control (C2) domain used in recent campaigns. The identity of the attackers is not known, but evidence suggests that they could be based out of Bulgaria.

“Electron Bot is a modular SEO poisoning malware, which is used for social media promotion and click fraud,” Check Point’s Moshe Marelus said in a report published this week. “It is mainly distributed via the Microsoft store platform and dropped from dozens of infected applications, mostly games, which are constantly uploaded by the attackers.”

The first sign of malicious activity commenced as an ad clicker campaign that was discovered in October 2018, with the malware hiding in plain sight in the form of a Google Photos app, as disclosed by Bleeping Computer.

In the years since, the malware is said to have undergone numerous iterations that equip the malware with new features and evasive capabilities. In addition to using the cross-platform Electron framework, the bot is designed to load payloads fetched from the C2 server at run time, making it difficult to detect.

“This enables the attackers to modify the malware’s payload and change the bots’ behavior at any given time,” Marelus explained. Read more:

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