Alarming Warning: Android Users Beware of Stealthy Spyware App

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Smart¬≠phone users beware! Cyber¬≠se¬≠cu¬≠ri¬≠ty experts at Cyfir¬≠ma have detect¬≠ed a dan¬≠ger¬≠ous Android app mas¬≠querad¬≠ing as a secure mes¬≠sag¬≠ing app but is actu¬≠al¬≠ly steal¬≠ing pri¬≠vate What¬≠sApp and mes¬≠sages and spy¬≠ing on users.

The mali¬≠cious app, called ‚ÄúSafeChat‚ÄĚ, posed as a secure chat alter¬≠na¬≠tive on the Google Play Store until it was recent¬≠ly removed. How¬≠ev¬≠er, if you have already installed it, you will need to unin¬≠stall it man¬≠u¬≠al¬≠ly from your device to remove the spyware.

The stealthy spy¬≠ware exhibits advanced capa¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ties, allow¬≠ing threat actors to extract sen¬≠si¬≠tive data like text mes¬≠sages, con¬≠tacts, call logs, loca¬≠tion and device infor¬≠ma¬≠tion with¬≠out users real¬≠iz¬≠ing it.

The decep¬≠tive app is believed to be the work of the noto¬≠ri¬≠ous Indi¬≠an hack¬≠ing group ‚ÄúBahamut‚ÄĚ, which has been active since 2017 tar¬≠get¬≠ing Android, iOS and Win¬≠dows devices to steal users‚Äô data from pop¬≠u¬≠lar mes¬≠sag¬≠ing 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 mali¬≠cious app main¬≠ly tar¬≠get¬≠ed South Asian coun¬≠tries, any¬≠one around the world could have down¬≠loaded it, putting mil¬≠lions of Android users at high risk of being hacked and spied on.

If you have installed ‚ÄúSafeChat‚ÄĚ or any apps of mys¬≠te¬≠ri¬≠ous ori¬≠gin, unin¬≠stall them imme¬≠di¬≠ate¬≠ly and be extra cau¬≠tious about any apps request¬≠ing inva¬≠sive per¬≠mis¬≠sions or mas¬≠querad¬≠ing as ‚Äúsecure alter¬≠na¬≠tives‚ÄĚ. Stay vig¬≠i¬≠lant and pro¬≠tect your pri¬≠va¬≠cy ‚ÄĒ down¬≠load apps only from trust¬≠ed sources and think twice before installing unknown apps, no mat¬≠ter how promis¬≠ing they seem. Your per¬≠son¬≠al data and secu¬≠ri¬≠ty are too valu¬≠able to risk on spy¬≠ware in disguise.

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