We have all heard about viruses and malware on Windows PC but now these malicious software are finding their way on Android devices as well. This is because of the increased use of smartphones which has encouraged threat actors to infiltrate and steal information from your mobile phones. Quite recently we had heard about Pegasus Israeli spyware, snooping on some of the influential people of the world. Before the heat generated by the anguish of people against Pegasus has cooled down, we have yet another malware on Android -PhoneSpy.
A recent report published by Zimperium zLabs revealed information about PhoneSpy which is a spyware that has been infiltrating smartphones running Android. A total of 23 applications that can induce this spyware on Android phones have been found so far. The good news is that none of these apps was downloaded from the official Google Play Store but rather from different third-party websites.
Note: Readers are advised to download apps on their Android devices from official app stores like Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, and Samsung Store. All reputed OEM manufacturers post their compatible apps on these app stores where they are verified before being uploaded.
PhoneSpy: Spyware in South Korea
A large number of PhoneSpy cases have been identified in South Korea as of now. This malware has been found embedded with apps of popular categories like Yoga training, Photo gallery, browsers, streaming software, etc. In the recent spyware controversy, Pegasus was more focused on prominent personalities of the globe whereas Phonespy targets all Korean speakers alike.
PhoneSpy has been described as an Advanced RAT or Remote Access Trojan that is quite capable of silently monitoring a victim and transmitting data to a command-and-control server.
PhoneSpy: Modus Operandi
The malicious actors have deployed a common method to initiate this threat and that is to post a phishing link on a website or social media channel. In South Korea, the Kakaotalk Messaging app is very popular, and fake web pages displaying this app and its offers have been set up. Once a user installs and runs an app download from these websites or social media platforms, the spyware commences its operation.
PhoneSpy: What Can It Do?
PhoneSpy can track a victim’s position using GPS, record audio, photos, and clip in real-time using mobile microphones and both front and rear cameras, apprehend and thieve SMS messages, call forwarding, call record and address book fraud, send messages on behalf of the malware’s controller, and exfiltrate system information.
Furthermore, PhoneSpy was built with deception and camouflage characteristics, and it will hide its icon to evade detection, which is a frequent approach used by spyware and stalkerware. It’s possible that the malware would try to delete user apps, including mobile antivirus software.
It is quite obvious that no anti-malware application across the globe would detect a newly created malware. Antivirus and Antimalware app developers release updates frequently that contain patches with regards to the newer developments by threat actors. Having said that, we would recommend Smart Phone Cleaner developed by Systweak Software that is a complete Android device optimizer. Here are a few features:
Boost in a single tap
The app’s One-Tap Booster feature clears the cache and improves your Android phone’s overall performance.
Protection Against Malware
This Android Optimizer app ensures that your smartphone is safe from malware, viruses, and other potential threats.
Removes junk files
The Smart Phone Cleaner app allows you to delete junk files with a single click, freeing up storage space on your device.
Smart Phone Cleaner monitors your device’s battery usage in real-time and scans for and disables apps that drain the battery.
Duplicate File Remover
Scans your entire device for duplicate and redundant items, such as images, audio tracks, documents, and other types of media. Once the software has displayed all of the duplicate entries, you may examine them closely before marking and deleting them all with a single click.
All incoming alerts will be turned off, background processes will be stopped, and your device will receive an instant speed boost so you can get the most out of your games as soon as you enable the Game speed-up function in the app.
The Final Word On Are Android Devices Safe? PhoneSpy Malware raises a new doubt on Android Security.
zLabs have reported that PhoneSpy used to collect large volumes of personal and business information from victims, including private emails and images. Even though thousands of South Koreans have been affected by the spyware attack, it is unclear whether they are connected. With the capacity to download contact information and send SMS messages on behalf of the victim, bad actors are more likely to target current victims’ connections with phishing URLs. This malware campaign hasn’t ended yet and the US and Korean governments have been notified.
Follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. For any queries or suggestions, please let us know in the comments section below. We would love to get back to you with a solution. We regularly post tips and tricks, along with answers to common issues related to technology.