Cybercrime is on the rise, it has been for a long time now. Anyone that connects to the internet is a target due to the fact that there are countless ways to commit such crimes.
One of the methods used to harm an individual, company, or industry would be none other than spyware – malicious software used to harvest information about a person or organization and send it to another entity in a way that harms the victim.
The use of spyware has advanced and now it’s impersonating legitimate messaging apps such as Telegram and Threema to infect Android devices.
According to ESET researchers, new, undocumented malware is being used by a group that goes by the name of APT-C-23, which is known for mainly targeting the Middle East in the past.
What is this Malware and What’s Going On?
As mentioned, this is not the first time this spyware has taken over devices. There are other versions that were documented back in 2017.
However, this one has extended spying functionality. In other words, it’s way more advanced than its predecessors and can do a lot more damage at the same time.
The spyware disguises itself as popular messaging apps such as Telegram, and according to Stefanko, the ESET researcher who found the malware:
“When we analyzed the fake store, it contained both malicious and clean items. The malware was hiding in apps posing as AndroidUpdate, Threema and Telegram. In some cases, victims would end up with both the malware and the impersonated app installed,”
The malware kept upgrading over the years. In 2018, it took the form of a media player that grabs information from the device and tricks targets into installing more and more malware.
Earlier this year, signs of APT-C-23 activity were detected as well. This time, Hamas operators posed as teenage girls on social media platforms to lure Israeli soldiers into installing the malware on their phones.
So, the malware is advancing and can gather information from all sorts of things on Android, including calls. It can even collect messages sent on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, Skype, and Messenger.
No matter what kind of malware this is, cybercrimes are on the rise and no one is safe. Don’t ever think that these hackers only target big companies or industries.
No, on the contrary, you’re always a potential target. What you need to do is educate yourself on how to secure your internet devices and protect your data.
There are dozens of websites that offer how-to guides, putting on the right track to a better, secure online experience. Check them out, your data is at risk.