Beware of PhoneSpy malware found on 23 apps!
What if your phone, which carries almost the whole of your world, from personal data to banking information, can be accessed by someone else out to steal from you? What if your personal device starts keeping an eye on you as a secret spy? This is happening right now to hundreds of millions of people! Now, a new threat named PhoneSpy malware has been exposed that poses a threat to Android phone users. PhoneSpy malware has been found in 23 apps. Though none of these apps are available on Google Play, as of now, trends indicate that attackers are using web traffic redirection or social engineering distribution methods to ensnare innocent people.
Zimperium, the mobile security company, which detected the PhoneSpy malware said that it can even access the victims' camera to take real time pictures and record videos to spy on you, which could be used for personal or corporate blackmailing and espionage. Additionally, it can record audio and get specific GPS location, view images from the devices and many more. Quite scary! This can happen even without letting you know that the malware is spying on you, unless someone is watching their web traffic.
The newly found Phonespy malware, is said to be different from other spywares as it hides in plain sight on the device and makes a camouflage of known Android lifestyle apps such as TV streaming or even yoga instructions, instead of taking advantage of on-device vulnerabilities. In general, the malware is secretly exfoliating data from the victim's device, including login credentials, messages, particular geographic location, and photos. Also, PhoneSpy can even delete any app, including mobile security applications. PhoneSpy has mainly been found active in regions of South Korea.
The legitimate looking applications request users for excessive on-device permissions which is a common red flag. Zimperium’s Richard Melick told TechCrunch that once the permissions are granted, the cyber fraudster can have full access to the device and even hide the app from the main menu list. It works from behind the scene and continues to track and steal the data from the user's device without letting him know.
Zimperium said in its blog that it has notified and submitted all relevant threat data to US and South Korean authorities. The mobile security company identified the PhoneSpy spyware app during routine threat research.