(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) We are aware that installing unwarranted apps on our smartphones can do some serious damage to the device. But still some apps are highly capable into luring smartphone users to download them. And that's when we fall into the cyber spying trap.
Kaspersky Lab has discovered new malicious software named Skygofree that includes location-based audio recording and other features that have never been encountered before. The Android spying software is dangerous and is capable of stealing WhatsApp messages from Android devices.
Security researchers said learning about the malware has revealed that Skygofree has been designed for targeted cyber-surveillance and includes never-seen-before hacking abilities. Once installed, Skygofree can record audio using the microphone based on specific locations, connect to specific Wi-Fi networks to analyze traffic, and capture pictures or video.
Researchers at Kaspersky Lab said the surveillance software has been active since 2014 and has nothing to do with Sky or the Sky Go product, service or app.
Researchers added that the malware attacks users after they visit a fake websites and install unofficial apps. They warned users of double-checking the URLs of website and be careful of apps before installing, especially those outside of the Play Store.
Details found in the code of the spyware suggested Spygofree was developed by Negg International, an Italian cybersecurity company.
Kaspersky's principal security researcher Vincente Diaz told Sky News that it was not clear from this whether Negg developed the software themselves or if the malicious software had been modified to falsely implicate them.
Pointing similar mobile spyware to be on the rise, Diaz said, "It's better business to infect a mobile device than a computer. I think that we're reaching the tipping point where we'll discover a lot of spying malware for mobile devices," he added.
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