Skip to content

T1516 Input Injection

A malicious application can inject input to the user interface to mimic user interaction through the abuse of Android’s accessibility APIs.

Input Injection can be achieved using any of the following methods:

  • Mimicking user clicks on the screen, for example to steal money from a user’s PayPal account.1
  • Injecting global actions, such as GLOBAL_ACTION_BACK (programatically mimicking a physical back button press), to trigger actions on behalf of the user.2
  • Inserting input into text fields on behalf of the user. This method is used legitimately to auto-fill text fields by applications such as password managers.3
Item Value
ID T1516
Tactics TA0030, TA0034
Platforms Android
Version 1.1
Created 15 September 2019
Last Modified 24 October 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0480 Cerberus Cerberus can inject input to grant itself additional permissions without user interaction and to prevent application removal.56
S0479 DEFENSOR ID DEFENSOR ID can abuse the accessibility service to perform actions on behalf of the user, including launching attacker-specified applications to steal data.8
S0423 Ginp Ginp can inject input to make itself the default SMS handler.4
S0406 Gustuff Gustuff injects the global action GLOBAL_ACTION_BACK to mimic pressing the back button to close the application if a call to an open antivirus application is detected.2
S0485 Mandrake Mandrake abuses the accessibility service to prevent removing administrator permissions, accessibility permissions, and to set itself as the default SMS handler.13
S0403 Riltok Riltok injects input to set itself as the default SMS handler by clicking the appropriate places on the screen. It can also close or minimize targeted antivirus applications and the device security settings screen.11
S1062 S.O.V.A. S.O.V.A. can programmatically tap the screen or swipe.7
S1055 SharkBot SharkBot can use input injection via Accessibility Services to simulate user touch inputs, prevent applications from opening, change device settings, and bypass MFA protections.14
S0545 TERRACOTTA TERRACOTTA can inject clicks to launch applications, share posts on social media, and interact with WebViews to perform fraudulent actions.10
S0427 TrickMo TrickMo can inject input to set itself as the default SMS handler, and to automatically click through pop-ups without giving the user any time to react.12
S0494 Zen Zen can simulate user clicks on ads and system prompts to create new Google accounts.9


ID Mitigation Description
M1012 Enterprise Policy An EMM/MDM can use the Android DevicePolicyManager.setPermittedAccessibilityServices method to set an explicit list of applications that are allowed to use Android’s accessibility features.
M1011 User Guidance Users should be warned against granting access to accessibility features, and to carefully scrutinize applications that request this dangerous permission.


  1. Lukáš Štefanko. (2018, December 11). Android Trojan steals money from PayPal accounts even with 2FA on. Retrieved July 11, 2019. 

  2. Vitor Ventura. (2019, April 9). Gustuff banking botnet targets Australia . Retrieved September 3, 2019. 

  3. Bitwarden. (n.d.). Auto-fill logins on Android . Retrieved September 15, 2019. 

  4. ThreatFabric. (2019, November). Ginp - A malware patchwork borrowing from Anubis. Retrieved April 8, 2020. 

  5. Threat Fabric. (2019, August). Cerberus - A new banking Trojan from the underworld. Retrieved June 26, 2020. 

  6. A. Hazum, B. Melnykov, C. Efrati, D. Golubenko, I. Wernik, L. Kuperman, O. Mana. (2020, April 29). First seen in the wild – Malware uses Corporate MDM as attack vector. Retrieved June 26, 2020. 

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

  8. L. Stefanko. (2020, May 22). Insidious Android malware gives up all malicious features but one to gain stealth. Retrieved June 26, 2020. 

  9. Siewierski, L. (2019, January 11). PHA Family Highlights: Zen and its cousins . Retrieved July 27, 2020. 

  10. Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team. (2020, August). TERRACOTTA Android Malware: A Technical Study. Retrieved December 18, 2020. 

  11. Tatyana Shishkova. (2019, June 25). Riltok mobile Trojan: A banker with global reach. Retrieved August 7, 2019. 

  12. P. Asinovsky. (2020, March 24). TrickBot Pushing a 2FA Bypass App to Bank Customers in Germany. Retrieved April 24, 2020. 

  13. 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. 

  14. RIFT: Research and Intelligence Fusion Team. (2022, March 3). SharkBot: a “new” generation Android banking Trojan being distributed on Google Play Store. Retrieved January 18, 2023.