Security researchers from Lookout and the Electronic Frontier Foundation warn of a large-scale malware campaign, mainly through Android-phones strikes.
Here are the fake apps used for spying purposes, that look exactly like the real thing. The apps are not found in the official Play Store. Victims are often via phishing links to o.a. social media into the apps via a detour to install. Nepversies of WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal and Tor-browser are in circulation.
Installing an app has far-reaching consequences. Messages, login details, phone calls, browser history, photos and other files… they are all hijacked. The offenders can at a distance the microphone of the device to enable to listen, or secretly take photos through the camera app to take over.
The campaign has its origins already in 2012 and is now also Windows-based systems as target. The malware variant for pcs, for example, comes in with infected Word documents, in the rogue emails. Once installed, one can at a distance to the webcam to turn on, all your photos and documents stolen, and there are screenshots made and forwarded.
There would be hundreds of gigabytes of data stolen and the victims were located in more than 21 countries, including the Netherlands. The attacks were especially aimed at large companies, hospitals, the financial sector, the military and other institutions that deal with extra-sensitive information.