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T1409 Stored Application Data

Adversaries may try to access and collect application data resident on the device. Adversaries often target popular applications, such as Facebook, WeChat, and Gmail.1

Due to mobile OS sandboxing, this technique is only possible in three scenarios:

  • An application stores files in unprotected external storage
  • An application stores files in its internal storage directory with insecure permissions (e.g. 777)
  • The adversary gains root permissions on the device
Item Value
ID T1409
Tactics TA0035
Platforms Android, iOS
Version 3.1
Created 25 October 2017
Last Modified 20 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0655 BusyGasper BusyGasper can collect data from messaging applications, including WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook.13
S0529 CarbonSteal CarbonSteal can collect notes and data from the MiCode app.12
S0505 Desert Scorpion Desert Scorpion can collect account information stored on the device.11
S0550 DoubleAgent DoubleAgent has accessed browser history, as well as the files for 15 other apps.12
S0405 Exodus Exodus Two extracts information from Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Gmail, IMO, Skype, Telegram, Viber, WhatsApp, and WeChat.1
S0509 FakeSpy FakeSpy can collect account information stored on the device, as well as data in external storage.3
S0408 FlexiSpy FlexiSpy uses a FileObserver object to monitor the Skype and WeChat database file and shared preferences to retrieve chat messages, account information, and profile pictures of the account owner and chat participants. FlexiSpy can also spy on popular applications, including Facebook, Hangouts, Hike, Instagram, Kik, Line, QQ, Snapchat, Telegram, Tinder, Viber, and WhatsApp.2
S0577 FrozenCell FrozenCell has retrieved account information for other applications.18
S0551 GoldenEagle GoldenEagle has extracted messages from chat programs, such as WeChat.12
S0485 Mandrake Mandrake can collect all accounts stored on the device.7
S0399 Pallas Pallas retrieves messages and decryption keys for popular messaging applications and other accounts stored on the device.15
S0316 Pegasus for Android Pegasus for Android accesses sensitive data in files, such as messages stored by the WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter applications. It also has the ability to access arbitrary filenames and retrieve directory listings.6
S0289 Pegasus for iOS Pegasus for iOS accesses sensitive data in files, such as saving Skype calls by reading them out of the Skype database files.10
S0295 RCSAndroid RCSAndroid can collect contacts and messages from popular applications, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Line, WeChat, Hangouts, Telegram, and BlackBerry Messenger.4
S1062 S.O.V.A. S.O.V.A. can gather session cookies from infected devices. S.O.V.A. can also abuse Accessibility Services to steal Google Authenticator tokens.98
S0327 Skygofree Skygofree has a capability to obtain files from other installed applications.17
S0324 SpyDealer SpyDealer exfiltrates data from over 40 apps such as WeChat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, and others.14
S0329 Tangelo Tangelo accesses databases from WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Line.16
S0311 YiSpecter YiSpecter has modified Safari’s default search engine, bookmarked websites, opened pages, and accessed contacts and authorization tokens of the IM program “QQ” on infected devices.5


ID Mitigation Description
M1006 Use Recent OS Version Android 9 introduced a new security policy that prevents applications from reading or writing data to other applications’ internal storage directories, regardless of permissions.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0041 Application Vetting API Calls


  1. Security Without Borders. (2019, March 29). Exodus: New Android Spyware Made in Italy. Retrieved September 3, 2019. 

  2. K. Lu. (n.d.). Deep Technical Analysis of the Spyware FlexiSpy for Android. Retrieved September 10, 2019. 

  3. O. Almkias. (2020, July 1). FakeSpy Masquerades as Postal Service Apps Around the World. Retrieved September 15, 2020. 

  4. Veo Zhang. (2015, July 21). Hacking Team RCSAndroid Spying Tool Listens to Calls; Roots Devices to Get In. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 

  5. Claud Xiao. (2015, October 4). YiSpecter: First iOS Malware That Attacks Non-jailbroken Apple iOS Devices by Abusing Private APIs. Retrieved March 3, 2023. 

  6. Mike Murray. (2017, April 3). Pegasus for Android: the other side of the story emerges. Retrieved April 16, 2017. 

  7. R. Gevers, M. Tivadar, R. Bleotu, A. M. Barbatei, et al.. (2020, May 14). Uprooting Mandrake: The Story of an Advanced Android Spyware Framework That Went Undetected for 4 Years. Retrieved July 15, 2020. 

  8. Francesco Lubatti, Federico Valentini. (2022, November 8). SOVA malware is back and is evolving rapidly. Retrieved March 30, 2023. 

  9. ThreatFabric. (2021, September 9). S.O.V.A. - A new Android Banking trojan with fowl intentions. Retrieved February 6, 2023. 

  10. Lookout. (2016). Technical Analysis of Pegasus Spyware. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 

  11. A. Blaich, M. Flossman. (2018, April 16). Lookout finds new surveillanceware in Google Play with ties to known threat actor targeting the Middle East. Retrieved September 11, 2020. 

  12. A. Kumar, K. Del Rosso, J. Albrecht, C. Hebeisen. (2020, June 1). Mobile APT Surveillance Campaigns Targeting Uyghurs - A collection of long-running Android tooling connected to a Chinese mAPT actor. Retrieved November 10, 2020. 

  13. Alexey Firsh. (2018, August 29). BusyGasper – the unfriendly spy. Retrieved October 1, 2021. 

  14. Wenjun Hu, Cong Zheng and Zhi Xu. (2017, July 6). SpyDealer: Android Trojan Spying on More Than 40 Apps. Retrieved September 18, 2018. 

  15. Blaich, A., et al. (2018, January 18). Dark Caracal: Cyber-espionage at a Global Scale. Retrieved April 11, 2018. 

  16. Lookout. (n.d.). Stealth Mango & Tangelo. Retrieved September 27, 2018. 

  17. Nikita Buchka and Alexey Firsh. (2018, January 16). Skygofree: Following in the footsteps of HackingTeam. Retrieved September 24, 2018. 

  18. Michael Flossman. (2017, October 5). FrozenCell: Multi-platform surveillance campaign against Palestinians. Retrieved November 11, 2020.