Threat Report H1 2024

July 9, 2024

These past six months painted a dynamic landscape of Android Financial threats – malware going after victims’ mobile banking funds – be it in the form of “traditional” banking malware or, more recently, cryptostealers.

A curious newcomer on this scene is GoldPickaxe, new mobile malware capable of stealing facial recognition data to create deepfake videos used by the malware’s operators to authenticate fraudulent financial transactions. Armed with both Android and iOS versions, this threat has been targeting victims in Southeast Asia through localized malicious apps. As ESET researchers dug into this malware family, they discovered that an older Android sibling of GoldPickaxe, called GoldDiggerPlus, has also tunneled its way to Latin America and South Africa by actively targeting victims in these regions.

Keeping up with the times, infostealing malware can now be found impersonating generative AI tools as well. In H1 2024, Rilide Stealer was spotted misusing the names of generative AI assistants, such as OpenAI’s Sora and Google’s Gemini, to entice potential victims. In another malicious campaign, the Vidar infostealer was lurking behind a supposed Windows desktop app for AI image generator Midjourney – even though Midjourney’s AI model is only accessible via Discord. Since 2023, we have been increasingly seeing cybercriminals abusing the AI theme – a trend that is expected to continue.

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