Spyware Masks Itself as System Update for your Phone, Security Firm Warns

Spyware on Android phones 
Pexels/Magnus Mueller

Google’s monthly updates are done in order to help keep Android safe from any malicious attacks. So long as you are careful when you are downloading apps outside the Play Store, keeping your device secure is very easy, even as new attackers try to distribute dangerous viruses.

Spyware takes new form

Just this week, mobile security researchers have discovered spyware that pretends to be a system update that could take total control of the phone after it is installed.

The spyware was first discovered by security firm Zimperium. The said malware is surprisingly sophisticated. After it is installed through a bundled app outside of the Play Store, it masks itself using the same notification as a verified update from Google.

Also Read: WhatsApp Sues Spyware Firm Behind U.S. Servers Tampering Using Pegasus

As soon as it is active, nothing is safe from it.

The spyware can view and upload messages, user contacts, bookmarks, and search history. It can track locations, capture photos using the camera, record both phone calls and external audio, and even steal copied content from the phone’s clipboard.

It is important to note that the app that included the spyware was never available in the Play Store, so most Android users do not have to worry about losing control of their phones. It is possible that it was a targeted attack, considering how thoroughly the malware scans a particular device.

Even so, it is an excellent reminder to keep your phone up to date and secure with verified patches from Google and to only download external APKs that you trust, like APK Mirror. 

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