Group-IB, a leading creator of cybersecurity technologies to investigate, prevent, and fight digital crime, has uncovered a new iOS Trojan designed to steal users’ facial recognition data, identity documents, and intercept SMS. The Trojan, dubbed GoldPickaxe.iOS by Group-IB’s Threat Intelligence unit, has been attributed to a Chinese-speaking threat actor codenamed GoldFactory, responsible for developing a suite of highly sophisticated banking Trojans that also includes the earlier discovered GoldDigger and newly identified GoldDiggerPlus, GoldKefu, and GoldPickaxe for Android. To exploit the stolen biometric data, the threat actor utilizes AI face-swapping services to create deepfakes by replacing their faces with those of the victims. This method could be used by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to the victim’s banking account – a new fraud technique, previously unseen by Group-IB researchers. The GoldFactory Trojans target the Asia-Pacific region, specifically — Thailand and Vietnam impersonating local banks and government organizations.
Group-IB’s discovery also marks a rare instance of malware targeting Apple’s mobile operating system. The detailed technical description of the Trojans, analysis of their technical capabilities, and the list of relevant indicators of compromise can be found in Group-IB’s latest blog post.