Fake Apps Used As Surveillance 

fake apps

Cybercriminals are increasingly touting decoy versions of popular applications that include surveillance software, such as Skype and Signal. Apurva Kumar, a security intelligence engineer, said that one of the monitoring software families found using this strategy is Monokle, a complex set of custom Android monitoring software. Kumar said that she sees the increasing complexity of threat actors distributing surveillance software in 2020, especially because they rely more on device exploits. According to Kumar,

“Threats are starting to move away from the simple installation of applications and starting to move more onto the device and device exploitation side. So definitely, as always, there will always be an increase in sophistication and complexity of these actors as they try to find new and novel ways of getting onto their targets’ device.” 

At the RSA meeting, Kumar’s team shared something interesting including monitoring software, especially a new type of monitoring software called Monokle that they found. Monakle is a professionally developed Android monitoring software. They met in early 2018. At that time, they did not actually know its importance. Moreover, this situation has been happening, just like they are always looking for Android and iOS monitoring software, they may encounter many things.

One technique is to use the Trojan horse application that Monokle does use, which is basically a legitimate application that they unzip, inject some malicious features, then repackage and maybe use some social engineering they don’t know to spread techniques such as phishing, and then sell it to anyone, or place it in front of the target object they may want to locate. Then, because it is familiar, it is packaged as something similar, for example, Monakle is packaged as an application such as Signal or Skype, so it may be a well-known application, so it becomes easier for users to install it And then they were infected with malware. 

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