17.01 2018 14:12h

Own An Android Phone? Your Whatsapp Messages Might Be At Risk

Security experts discover powerful Android malware that can spy via WhatsApp
Whatsapp, Android, Hacking

If you're a proud iPhone avoider and Android user, then you may want to read this one...

Security researchers have discovered a new type of spyware that can snoop on users and steal WhatsApp messages.

Skygofree, as it’s known to security experts, has the ability to transform Android phones into spy devices. It can force smartphones into recording audio and video, take pictures, steal text messages and voice notes, all without arousing suspicion of the owner.

Yikes.

According to Russian-based cybersecurity and anti-virus software company Kaspersky Lab, Skygofree is “one of the most advanced mobile implants” malware researchers have seen in recent times.

"High end mobile malware is very difficult to identify and block and the developers behind Skygofree have clearly used this to their advantage: creating and evolving an implant that can spy extensively on targets without arousing suspicion,” Malware Analyst Alexey Firsh said.

Researchers say they’ve identified several web landing pages that spread the bug by mimicking the web pages of mobile network carriers.

It hasn’t been a good month for WhatsApp. Last Week, the messaging app revealed a huge design flaw and admitted that anyone could infiltrate private group chats, despite its “end-to-end encryption.”

Our advice?

Make sure your smartphone’s anti-virus software is up to date and minimize the amount of sensitive information you store on your phone.

But there’s no reason to get too paranoid just yet, as affected devices have only been reported in Italy. As of today, fortunately there have been no published reports that suggest any compromise of smartphones in the UAE. Still, keep an eye on this one, folks. 

What are your thoughts on the recent malware discovery? Let us know in the comments below...

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