These 2 spyware apps caught sharing data with China; 5 things you must do | Tech News

These 2 spyware apps caught sharing data with China; 5 things you must do

Over 1.5 million Android smartphone users’ data has been compromised by these two spyware apps! Here is what you should do.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jul 09 2023, 11:16 IST
Microsoft shares crucial tips to guard against cyber attacks
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1/6 One of the most popular ways to steal information is ‘Phishing’. Phishing emails and websites created to attack corporate targets only need to succeed once to gain credentials that can be sold to and shared with other bad actors.  (Microsoft)
Cybersecurity
2/6 Another way is 'Push-bombing,' which is an attack that triggers multiple access attempts with stolen credentials. It causes a rush of push notifications and can confuse the user and cause them to mistakenly allow authentication. So, how you can avoid such scenarios? (Pexels)
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3/6 First, always use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) with "Number Matching" or similar functionality. This also includes accepting a push notification and inputting a matching number.   (Pexels)
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4/6 To regain control and ensure security, isolation plays a vital role by enabling strict control of communications and access between security zones. Without proper isolation, the security model becomes ineffective. Therefore, remote administration necessitates a computer within the same security zone. (Unsplash)
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5/6 Keep your operating systems updated and maintain secure administrative practices. (Unsplash)
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6/6 Finally, implement comprehensive centralized log collection with a well-defined retention policy.   (Pixabay)
Cybersecurity
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Cybersecurity firm says that spyware apps are sending crucial information to China (Unsplash)

Cybercriminals are increasingly managing to escape security checks and sneak their apps into Android smartphones. From malicious links on emails, social media, and texts or by simply hiding malware in otherwise innocuous-looking apps on app stores, these cybercriminals have become a huge menace for smartphone users. The worst part is that they put at risk the personal data and bank details of users. In the latest shocking event, two spyware apps were caught hiding on the Google Play Store that affected up to 1.5 million users.

This comes from mobile cybersecurity company Pradeo, which revealed in a blog post that two applications, which are from the same developer, feature similar malicious behaviour. The apps are masquerading as file management tools while they are silently stealing sensitive users' data. The alarming fact is that the spyware is sending all the crucial data of the users to various servers based in China.

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The apps in question are, "File Recovery and Data Recovery". The former has more than 1 million installs, while "File Manager" is said to have more than 0.5 million installs. Both of these apps claim that they do not collect any sensitive data of users. However, as per Pradeo's report, the behavioural analysis engine shows that both apps are collecting personal data such as users' contact lists from the device itself and from all connected accounts such as email, social networks, media, real-time location, mobile country code, network provider name, network code of the SIM provider, operating system version number, and device brand and model.

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What should Android users do?

First of all, smartphone users must uninstall these apps from their devices if they have been downloaded by any chance. Apart from this, follow these precautions:

  1. The cybersecurity firm Pradeo has suggested that you must be careful while downloading Android apps that do not have any reviews even though they boast tens of thousands of users.
  2. You must carefully read reviews, when there are any, as it helps to understand the true nature of the app.
  3. Before accepting permission, carefully read them.
  4. Also, you should keep your phone protected with anti-virus software to know the danger in a timely manner and to act against it.
  5. Make sure to keep updating your Android phone with the latest security patches.

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First Published Date: 09 Jul, 10:30 IST
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