Smartphone users beware! Cybersecurity experts at Cyfirma have detected a dangerous Android app masquerading as a secure messaging app but is actually stealing private WhatsApp and messages and spying on users.
The malicious app, called “SafeChat”, posed as a secure chat alternative on the Google Play Store until it was recently removed. However, if you have already installed it, you will need to uninstall it manually from your device to remove the spyware.
The stealthy spyware exhibits advanced capabilities, allowing threat actors to extract sensitive data like text messages, contacts, call logs, location and device information without users realizing it.
The deceptive app is believed to be the work of the notorious Indian hacking group “Bahamut”, which has been active since 2017 targeting Android, iOS and Windows devices to steal users’ data from popular messaging apps.
Cyfirma warns that the Bahamut spyware gives operators remote control of infected devices, allowing them to continuously spy on users. The hackers’ motives remain unclear butCyfirma suspects it may be working on behalf of the Indian government.
While the malicious app mainly targeted South Asian countries, anyone around the world could have downloaded it, putting millions of Android users at high risk of being hacked and spied on.
If you have installed “SafeChat” or any apps of mysterious origin, uninstall them immediately and be extra cautious about any apps requesting invasive permissions or masquerading as “secure alternatives”. Stay vigilant and protect your privacy — download apps only from trusted sources and think twice before installing unknown apps, no matter how promising they seem. Your personal data and security are too valuable to risk on spyware in disguise.