PhoneSpy is the name of the malware, and Zimperium claims that its zLabs research team has uncovered 23 apps that are being used to spread it; thousands of devices have been affected thus far.
“These malignant Android applications are intended to run quietly behind the scenes,” Zimperium says, “continually keeping an eye on their casualties without raising any doubt. We accept the noxious actors liable for PhoneSpy have assembled critical measures of individual and corporate data on their casualties, including private interchanges and photographs.”
PhoneSpy has a lot of power over infected phones. It can be used to steal call records, text messages, images, and other data, as well as record audio, capture videos, and take pictures, as well as send text messages and meddle with phone calls, according to Zimperium. It also conceals the icon of the software that infected the smartphone, making it more difficult for victims to discover it.
“Like other portable spyware we have seen, the information taken from these gadgets could be utilized for individual and corporate blackmail and surveillance,” Zimperium says. “The pernicious actors could then create notes on the person in question, download any taken materials, and accumulate knowledge for other detestable practices.”
The 23 malicious apps linked to the malware, according to Zimperium, haven’t been located in the Play Store or “third-party or regional stores.” According to the company, it’s “most probably propagated by web traffic redirection or social engineering.” It’s unclear whether PhoneSpy is deliberately targeting individuals, businesses, or industries. The leaked information may be used to blackmail victims or enable phishing attempts, according to Zimperium, but the company hasn’t reported any such follow-on assaults, so the malware’s current goal seems to be just collecting as much information as possible.