Android Trojan reads Whatsapp-Messages


A spyware still in development can read users Whatsapp-Messages and other sensitive data. G DATA researchers analysed the Malware to protect our customers.

The Twitter user @LukasStefanko discovered a new malware for Android and reported about in a Tweet.  The malware has a lot of spying features like sending the browsing history, photos, the WhatsApp database in which all the messages are stored, and a few more. It isn't clear for which surveillance purpose the malware was created. In this report the various features of this malware are shown.

The malware consists of the MainActivity.class which starts a new service OwnMe.class. The source code of the associated files is found here at the Github page from the user earthshakira. The OwnMe.class extends the Android Service class. If startService() is called, shortly after that the onStartCommand() function is executed.


First it displays a toast, which is a pop-up like message, to the user with the text “Service started”. Therefore we assume that the malware is still under development. Criminals normally want their actions to be as silent as possible in order to not raise any suspicion by the user.

Furthermore, it defines a lot of variables like the upLoadServerUri, the android_id, the username, the JSON objects ping and handshake. The handshake object contains information an empty battery field and an empty cpu field. The empty fields, which are not assigned anywhere else, similarly confirm the thought that the malware is still under development and not meant for active usage right now. Once this procedure is done, the malware continues with the startExploit() function.

startExploit & connectWebSocket

If the malware has connection to the internet, it proceeds to the connectWebSocket() function. The function connects to the URI ws://ipofthec2:8080, if an internet connection is available. When a message from the server is received, the function onMessage() is executed with the received message as parameter. Then it creates a JSON object v8 which is assigned to the received message parameter. If the assigning of v8 fails, it sends null to the server.

Now we’re getting to the interesting part, the functions!

Malware functionalities


If the message contains “screenshot”, the element response gets the value none and the element type receives the value response of the JSON object v8. However, no actual screenshot function is called and nothing is sent to the server in here. This furthermore strengthens our thesis that this function is yet still under development.


If the message contains “whatsapp”, the function uploadWhatsApp() is called. This function does what the name already hints. It uploads the WhatsApp database to the web c2 using the following query: “ipofthec2/db/upload_whatsapp.php.

The username and the android_id is taken from the previously defined variables inside the onStartCommand() function.


If the message contains “browserhistory”, the element response from the JSON object v8 gets the return value of the function getHistory().

The function getHistory() returns a string containing the values id, title, time, url and visits from the users bookmarks. GetHistory() currently only returns the saved bookmarks and not the actual history of the mobile browser as the name suggests it.


If the message contains “contacts”, the element response from the JSON object v8 gets the return value of the function getContacts().

getContacts() reads the contacts of the phone and returns a string which contains the _id of the contact, the display_name and the phone numbers if they are available.


If the message contains “calllog”, the element response from the JSON object v8 gets the return value of the function getCallLogs().

If the application doesn’t have the permission android.permission.READ_CALL_LOG, the function getCallLogs() will return “No permission”. Otherwise it will iterate through the calls and add the values name, number,type, date and duration to a JSON object and returns it as string.


If the message contains “fetch”, the element response from the JSON object v8 gets the return value of the function getBase64(v8.get(“path)).

getBase64() creates a new Bitmap from the parameter provided, which should be a local path of an image file. If the image width is bigger than 480, it will be scaled and otherwise compressed. The result will be returned as string in the base64 format.


If the message contains “gallery”, the element response from the JSON object v9 gets the return value of the function v4.get(v5).toString(). This return value contains the path, the folder and the page from the SD card. The element id gets the value android_id, the element page gets the current page and total gets the total amount of pages available.

The function mWebSocketClient.send() sends this data to the WebSocket connection. This process is repeated until the loop reaches the maximum amount of pages available.


If the message contains “camera”, the function openCameraVideo() is called with the parameter of the camera type(front or back) and the amount of frames.

If the running SDK version of the device is smaller than 21, then the specific camera is opened and takes a picture (This picture is not transmitted to the server), otherwise the function takePictureR() is called.

takePictureR() basically takes a picture on android devices with an SDK version higher than 21. This picture is then base64 encoded and put into a JSON object which is then sent to the WebSocket connection.


This function returns the current battery level and the CPU usage. However, there is no implementation for a message check like with the commands above and hence that command is not actively used yet.

No command provided

In the case that there is no command which can be found in the message, then the JSON object v8 gets added the value “error” and “no command found” and then sent to the WebSocket connection.


The class extends the class BroadCastReceiver. Once a new broadcast is received, the function onReceive() checks if the string “android.intent.action.BOOT_COMPLETED” equals the intent’s action. If that is the case, then the OwnMe.class is started as service. This means that every time the device has finished booting, the malicious app will start up.

IoCs and Yara-Rules

rule Android_Buhsam_dex_hunt



        author = "Ransombleed"

        description = "Spyware that uses websockets"


        $a = "" wide nocase

        $a2 = "" wide nocase

        $a3 = "/db/upload_whatsapp.php?user_name=" wide nocase

        $a4 = "/WhatsApp/Databases/msgstore.db.crypt12" wide nocase

        $b = "WebSocket" wide nocase

        $b2 = "ws://" wide nocase


        1 of ($a*) and 1 of ($b*)



File Hashes:


SHA-256 4bed89b58c2ecf3455999dc8211c8a7e0f9e8950cb9aa83cd825b8372b1eaa3d


Analysis by RansomBleed, find the full G DATA Whitepaper Android.Trojan-Spy.Buhsam.A here [PDF]