Access Contact List

An adversary could call standard operating system APIs from a malicious application to gather contact list (i.e., address book) data, or with escalated privileges could directly access files containing contact list data.

ID: T1432
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic Type: Post-Adversary Device Access
Tactic: Collection
Platforms: Android, iOS
Version: 1.0
Created: 25 October 2017
Last Modified: 17 October 2018
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0309 Adups

Adups transmitted contact lists.[1]

S0304 Android/Chuli.A

Android/Chuli.A stole contact list data stored both on the the phone and the SIM card.[2]

S0292 AndroRAT

AndroRAT collects contact list information.[3]

S0422 Anubis

Anubis can steal the device’s contact list.[4]

S0540 Asacub

Asacub can collect the device’s contact list.[5]

S0480 Cerberus

Cerberus can obtain the device’s contact list.[6]

S0323 Charger

Charger steals contacts from the victim user's device.[7]

S0425 Corona Updates

Corona Updates can collect device contacts.[8]

S0505 Desert Scorpion

Desert Scorpion can collect the device’s contact list.[9]

S0550 DoubleAgent

DoubleAgent has accessed the contact list.[10]

S0507 eSurv

eSurv can exfiltrate the device’s contact list.[11]

S0522 Exobot

Exobot can access the device’s contact list.[12]

S0405 Exodus

Exodus Two can download the address book.[13]

S0509 FakeSpy

FakeSpy can collect the device’s contact list.[14]

S0408 FlexiSpy

FlexiSpy can collect device contacts.[15]

S0423 Ginp

Ginp can download the device’s contact list.[16]

S0535 Golden Cup

Golden Cup can collect the device’s contact list.[17]

S0551 GoldenEagle

GoldenEagle has collected a list of contacts.[10]

S0421 GolfSpy

GolfSpy can obtain the device’s contact list.[18]

S0536 GPlayed

GPlayed can access the device’s contact list.[19]

S0406 Gustuff

Gustuff can collect the contact list.[20]

S0544 HenBox

HenBox can access the device’s contact list.[21]


INSOMNIA can collect the device’s contact list.[22]

S0485 Mandrake

Mandrake can access the device’s contact list.[23]

S0407 Monokle

Monokle can retrieve the device's contact list.[24]

S0399 Pallas

Pallas accesses the device contact list.[25]

S0316 Pegasus for Android

Pegasus for Android accesses contact list information.[26]

S0289 Pegasus for iOS

Pegasus for iOS gathers contacts from the system by dumping the victim's address book.[27]

S0539 Red Alert 2.0

Red Alert 2.0 can collect the device’s contact list.[28]

S0403 Riltok

Riltok can access and upload the device's contact list to the command and control server.[29]

S0411 Rotexy

Rotexy can access and upload the contacts list to the command and control server.[30]

S0549 SilkBean

SilkBean can access device contacts.[10]

S0324 SpyDealer

SpyDealer harvests contact lists from victims.[31]

S0305 SpyNote RAT

SpyNote RAT can view contacts.[32]

S0328 Stealth Mango

Stealth Mango uploads contact lists for various third-party applications such as Yahoo, AIM, GoogleTalk, Skype, QQ, and others.[33]

S0558 Tiktok Pro

Tiktok Pro can access the device's contact list.[34]

S0506 ViperRAT

ViperRAT can collect the device’s contact list.[35]

G0112 Windshift

Windshift has included contact list exfiltration in the malicious apps deployed as part of Operation BULL.[36]

S0489 WolfRAT

WolfRAT can collect the device’s contact list.[37]


ID Mitigation Description
M1005 Application Vetting

On Android, accessing the device contact list requires that the app hold the READ_CONTACTS permission. Apps that request this permission could be closely scrutinized to ensure that the request is appropriate. On iOS, the app vetting process can determine whether apps access the device contact list, with extra scrutiny applied to any that do so.


On both Android (6.0 and up) and iOS, the user can view which applications have permission to access contact list information through the device settings screen, and the user can choose to revoke the permissions.


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  12. Threat Fabric. (2017, February). Exobot - Android banking Trojan on the rise. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  13. Security Without Borders. (2019, March 29). Exodus: New Android Spyware Made in Italy. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
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  15. Actis B. (2017, April 22). FlexSpy Application Analysis. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  16. ThreatFabric. (2019, November). Ginp - A malware patchwork borrowing from Anubis. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  17. R. Iarchy, E. Rynkowski. (2018, July 5). GoldenCup: New Cyber Threat Targeting World Cup Fans. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  18. E. Xu, G. Guo. (2019, June 28). Mobile Cyberespionage Campaign ‘Bouncing Golf’ Affects Middle East. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  19. V. Ventura. (2018, October 11). GPlayed Trojan - .Net playing with Google Market . Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  1. Vitor Ventura. (2019, April 9). Gustuff banking botnet targets Australia . Retrieved September 3, 2019.
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  5. Bauer A., Kumar A., Hebeisen C., et al. (2019, July). Monokle: The Mobile Surveillance Tooling of the Special Technology Center. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
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  13. Shivang Desai. (2017, January 23). SpyNote RAT posing as Netflix app. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
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