60,000 phones infected by Android Stalkerware app – is yours compromised? Know how to remove | Tech News

60,000 phones infected by Android Stalkerware app – is yours compromised? Know how to remove

Beware of Spyhide Stalkerware! Over 60,000 Android devices have been infected and it is secretly stealing private data. Know how to detect and remove this threat.

| Updated on: Jul 26 2023, 12:57 IST
ALERT! Do you use USB devices? Beware! Your Windows computer under threat from Malware
Stalkerware Spyhide
1/5 Red Canary: cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new malware that spreads to Windows computers through infected USB drives. However as of now, researchers are unaware of how it happens. (REUTERS)
Stalkerware Spyhide
2/5 According to Tech Radar, the cybersecurity researchers did not name the malware but linked it to the group of malicious actors they call Raspberry Robin. (Pixabay)
Stalkerware Spyhide
3/5 According to the report by researchers, "While msiexec.exe downloads and executes legitimate installer packages, adversaries also leverage it to deliver malware. Raspberry Robin uses msiexec.exe to attempt external network communication to a malicious domain for C2 purposes." (REUTERS)
Stalkerware Spyhide
4/5 The malware spreads to new devices via an infected .LNK file. Once someone plugs in the USB drive, the malware runs the infection process via command prompt. (REUTERS)
Stalkerware Spyhide
5/5 The researchers said, "We also don't know why Raspberry Robin installs a malicious DLL, one hypothesis is that it may be an attempt to establish persistence on an infected system, though additional information is required to build confidence in that hypothesis." (MINT_PRINT)
Stalkerware Spyhide
icon View all Images
Android Stalkerware Spyhide has targetted 60,000 phones worldwide. (Bloomberg)

Tens of thousands of Android phones have fallen victim to a dangerous stalkerware app that covertly harvests private data. Known as Spyhide, this malicious software has managed to infiltrate 60,000 Android devices since 2016, according to a TechCrunch report. Unlike regular hacking apps that send stolen data to cybercriminals, stalkerware like Spyhide gathers sensitive information and transmits it back to individuals who seek to monitor their victims.

Alarming discovery

The real danger lies in the stalkerware's ability to remain concealed on compromised phones, making detection and removal challenging. Once installed, Spyhide discreetly collects and uploads various private details, including contacts, messages, photos, call logs, recordings, and real-time location.

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Recently, a Swiss-based hacker named Maia Arson Crimew discovered a vulnerability in Spyhide's dashboard, gaining access to the stalkerware's back-end database. The exposed information shed light on the scope of the attack. The compromised data of 60,000 Android devices includes call logs, text messages, and years of location history.

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Moreover, TechCrunch's analysis indicates that Spyhide operates globally, with 3,100 affected devices in the U.S., having over 100,000 location data points. Furthermore, the stalkerware's database includes details of 750,000 users who signed up to use Spyhide, likely with the intent to install it on someone else's smartphone. The vast collection of personal data from victims encompasses 3.29 million text messages, 2FA codes, password reset links, 1.2 million call logs, 312,000 call recording files, 925,000+ contact lists, and 382,000 photos and images.

How to detect and remove Stalkerware from your phone?

To ensure your phone is not affected, it is crucial to knowhow to detect and remove stalkerware. These apps often disguise themselves as regular apps on your phone, making them hard to spot. Spyhide, for instance, masquerades as a Google-themed app named "Google Settings" or a ringtone app called "T.Ringtone." To protect yourself, check your installed apps in the Settings menu for anything suspicious and remove any that seem out of place.

Strengthening your device's security

For enhanced security against stalkerware like Spyhide, consider using one of the best Android antivirus apps, which scan for malicious software on your device. Additionally, Google Play Protect can help by scanning existing and new app downloads for potential threats.

Unfortunately, stalkerware remains a significant concern on both Android and iOS platforms, as some individuals seek an easy way to monitor others. To safeguard your phone, avoid leaving it unattended and use secure biometrics like fingerprints instead of easily guessable passwords or PINs.

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First Published Date: 26 Jul, 11:55 IST