A new malware strain with spying and surveillance capabilities currently available in both Android and iOS versions.
Spyware is a type of malicious software — or malware — installed on a computing device without the end user’s knowledge.
And, It invades the device, steals sensitive information and internet usage data and more.
Recently, security researchers discovered a new malware — Goontact strain with spying and surveillance capabilities, available for Android and iPhone devices.
In addition, this malware has the ability to collect from infected victims data such as
- phone identifiers,
- SMS messages,
- photos, and
- location information.
Moreover, the malware distributed via third-party sites promoting free instant messaging apps dedicated to reaching escort services, Lookout – a mobile security firm detected.
According to an online report, the target audience of these sites appears to be limited — Chinese-speaking countries, Korea, and Japan.
However, the report notes that users could be downloading and side-loading Goontact-infected applications.
Similar To Sextortion Campaign in 2015
Apurva Kumar, Staff Security Intelligence Engineer at Lookout told ZDNet that the Goontact operation is similar to the sextortion campaign described by Trend Micro in 2015.
Kumar told ZDNet, “We have notified both Google and Apple of this threat and are actively collaborating with them to protect all Android and iOS users from Goontact,”
“Apple has revoked the enterprise certificates used to sign the apps and, as a result, the apps will stop working on devices.
Further added, “Play Protect will notify a user if any Goontact Android samples are installed on their device.”
Take a moment while downloading any application, follow the security recommendations:
- Download/Install applications directly from the reputed market place
- Take a moment about whether or not the permissions, really needs that access for an application( including access to your camera, files, location, etc)
- Never click/open Ad’s that pop-up while accessing an application
- Update to the latest software
- Avoid turning Auto-Fill
- Install paid Anti-Virus application