Threat Explorer

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02 April 2012
02 April 2012
Systems Affected:
Android.GeoFake is a Trojan horse for Android devices that sends SMS messages to premium-rate numbers.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 02 April 2012 revision 018
  • Latest Rapid Release version 02 April 2012 revision 018
  • Initial Daily Certified version 03 April 2012 revision 022
  • Latest Daily Certified version 03 April 2012 revision 022
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date 04 April 2012
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.
Android package file
The Trojan may arrive as a package with the following name:

APK: santander.apk
Version: 1.0
Application name: TokenGenerator

When the Trojan is installed, it requests permissions to perform the following actions:
  • Get information about the currently or recently running tasks
  • Open network connections
  • Check the phone's current state
  • Make the phone vibrate
  • Allow access to low-level system logs
  • Write to external storage devices
  • Access location information, such as Cell-ID or WiFi
  • Access location information, such as GPS information
  • Access information about networks
  • Access information about the WiFi state
  • Start once the device has finished booting
  • Allows management of the list of accounts in the AccountManager
  • Allows requests for authtokens from the AccountManager
  • Allows access to list of accounts in the Accounts Service
  • Allows packages to be restarted
  • Read user's contacts data
  • Read SMS messages on the device
  • Create new SMS messages
  • Use the device's mic to record audio

The Trojan generally arrives within a repackaged .apk file from a legitimate application. The package name, publisher, and other details will vary and may be taken directly from the original application.


The Trojan sends SMS messages to premium-rate numbers by performing one of the following actions:
  • Sends SMS using a predefined list of premium numbers
  • Connects to a predefined IP address to download a XML-configured list of premium numbers, then sends SMS

The Trojan will attempt to use the GoogleMaps API to determine region-appropriate premium services based on the compromised device's geolocation.

The Trojan also filters any SMS replies using predefined lists to hide premium service or network operator notifications.


Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.
You may have arrived at this page either because you have been alerted by your Symantec product about this risk, or you are concerned that your device has been affected by this risk.

Install Norton Mobile Security
If you do not already have Norton Mobile Security installed on your device, please download the product from the Android marketplace .

Alternatively, you can navigate to the website from your device and download the product from there by completing the following steps:
  1. Select the 90-Day free download.
  2. Click on the Android icon to begin downloading the product.
  3. Click on Install in order to accept the permissions that are being requested by the program.
  4. Next, click Open and then Agree & Launch.

Note: The first time the product runs, you will be required to enter a code that is displayed on the screen in order to activate the product. Enter the provided code and press Submit .

Run a full system scan
Run a full system scan using Norton Mobile Security to remove this risk from the device. To do this, please perform the following actions:
  1. Navigate to the Anti-Malware tab.
  2. Click Scan Now.

Manual removal
To remove this risk manually, please perform the following actions:
  1. Open the Google Android Menu.
  2. Go to the Settings icon and select Applications.
  3. Next, click Manage.
  4. Select the application and click the Uninstall button.
Writeup By: Branko Spasojevic