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What is AndroRAT? New Android malware comes with extensive spying and data-stealing abilities

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The malware was initially a college mission – meant to be an open-source software that offered distant management of an Android system
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

A brand new variant of an Android malware has been found, which comes with intensive data-stealing and spying talents, permitting hackers to achieve entry to nearly all information on contaminated gadgets. The malware, dubbed AndroRAT, was first found in 2012.

The malware was initially a college mission – meant to be an open-source software that offered distant management of an Android system. Nevertheless, AndroRAT was ultimately additionally found by cybercriminals, which in flip launched its malicious journey.

In response to safety researchers at Pattern Micro, who found the brand new version of the malware, it targets a vulnerability that was publicly disclosed in 2016. Exploiting the flaw permits hackers to hijack older Android gadgets, permitting them entry to an intensive quantity of information saved within the contaminated gadgets. Though Google already patched the vulnerability, older Android gadgets should still be weak.

“Ideally, any machine launched or up to date after April 2016 won’t be weak,” Pattern Micro researchers stated in a weblog.

The brand new model of the malware disguises itself as an app referred to as TrashCleaner, which as soon as put in, can enable hackers to carry out numerous malicious actions. The malware can hijack gadgets to make use of the entrance digital camera to take high-resolution photographs, report audio, steal recordsdata and extra.

“The primary time TrashCleaner runs, it prompts the Android machine to put in a Chinese language-labeled calculator app that resembles a pre-installed system calculator. Concurrently, the TrashCleaner icon will disappear from the machine’s UI and the RAT is activated within the background,” Pattern Micro researchers stated.

Along with possessing the unique options of AndroRAT, similar to stealing GPS location, contacts, Wi-Fi names, machine mannequin particulars, SMS messages and extra, the brand new variant additionally comes with new talents. These embrace the flexibility to steal a listing of all of the put in apps, steal browser historical past and Wi-Fi passwords, report calls, add recordsdata into the contaminated machine, ship and delete SMS messages, set up a keylogger and use the entrance digital camera to seize excessive decision photographs.

“Customers ought to chorus from downloading apps from third-party app shops to keep away from being focused by threats like AndroRAT,” Pattern Micro researchers warned. “Downloading solely from authentic app shops can go a good distance relating to machine safety. Commonly updating your machine’s working system and apps additionally cut back the chance of being affected by exploits for brand new vulnerabilities.”


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