Digitpol reports a rise in discovered spyware found in Asian phones.
Spyware is malicious software that is used to steal or broadcast information from a user’s device without their knowledge or permission. This software is mostly downloaded into the user’s mobile device through freeware where it comes bundled on other legitimate software. Once installed on a user’s device, the software then begins collecting data from the victim’s device and sending it to a remote command and control center.
Classification of Mobile Spyware
Spyware for mobile phones can be classified according to the functionality they perform. The general classes are; adware, trojans, system monitors and tracking cookies. Unlike adware that will auto launch popup windows with advertisements, malicious spyware sits in the device and emulates the behavior of normal applications, without raising suspicion. System monitors include key loggers that record user’s keystrokes.
What can Mobile Spyware do?
- Call and conversation recording: versions of spyware has the capability to listen in on calls held on the phone or near it. This means that spyware has the capability to pick up audio recordings of conversations between people sitting near the phoneby opening the microphone and recording.
- Keystrokes capture: Key loggers can be used to record all keystrokestyped on the victim device, including passwords, credit and debit card numbers, PINs, and any other confidential information that should otherwise be kept private.
- Camera recording: Some spyware turns on the camera to recordthe user as they carry on with their activity.
- Texts and Chats: Other spyware software reads all texts and chatsdone all social media applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger and such and sends them to the remote controller. These are very accurate as they even contain dates and timestamps.
- Detailed call log view: Spyware collects all phone calls made from and receive by the target phone, including the timestamps and phone numbers.
- Browser History: They give a detailed list of all websites visited on the target mobile phone web browser.
- GPS Tracking: Record all movements of the target user in real time and also view the history of movements using a map.
- Email Monitoring: Most spyware can collect emails sent and received with their details.
- Apart from monitor user activity, spyware can go ahead to gain administrative rightson a user mobile device. This can result to a user being locked out of their device, sometimes leading to complete data loss. Due to the processes that spyware runs on a user’s mobile device, it greatly slows down the processing speedof the mobile device, causing frequent crashes.
How to detect and remove spyware from your device
Use a good antivirus/antispyware software. There are good mobile security software on both Google Play Store for Android and in Apple Store for iPhones. However, majority of users are lax about installing them.
Avoid popups: It is important for mobile phone users to know that they should not click on adverts that pop up on their browser while they are online. These advertisements can in some cases install spyware in the background. Applications such as Ad blocker, a Chrome extension, can be used to block all advertisements that auto-load on web pages.
Verify source of downloads: Users should also avoid downloading freeware anyhow without verifying the source of the software. This is because most spyware comes attached to freeware and shareware from the web.
Read all Terms and Conditions carefully: It is important for users to read all disclosures before installing any software on their phones
Install Updates. Mobile phone users should ensure that their phone operating systems are updated always by checking the availability of updates.
Spyware in the Market
Some of the spyware of 2018 with detailed pricing is sown below:
|Product||1 Month||3 Months||6 Months||Full Year|
|MSpy No Jaibreak||$69.99||$119.99||$199.99|
|Mobistealth Android Pro||$49.99||$79.99||$119.99|
|Mobistealth Android Pro X||$79.99||$129.99||$179.99|
|Mobistealth IPhone Premium||$99.99||$149.99|
|Mobistealth IPhone Prem Plus||$119.99||$179.99|
Digitpol states they have discovered a rise in spyware found in phones operated in Asia, Digitpol can detect spyware installed in mobile phones by forensic examination. Digitpol told users should have phones examined if any suspicion of spyware arises. A forensic examination takes 2 hours and identifies any rogue software or spyware installed on the phones operating system. Digitpol conducts mobile phone forensic examinations in Hong Kong and in Europe.