Google warns of new spyware threat to iOS and Android users
This is according to a new report from Google, and one from Lookout Security.
Known as “Hermit,” the spyware targets Android and Apple devices. The targets of the hacking are from Kazakhstan, Syria, and Italy.
Remember Pegasus, the spyware created by NSO Group of Israel? Hermit seems similar, sold under the guise of “lawful intercept” to governments and other entities. The spyware vendor is believed to be Italian RCS Lab.
Lookout says the spyware was first used in 2019, in an anti-corruption operation by Italian authorities. Then it popped up again, this time in Syria. The latest samples came from Kazakhstan, earlier this year.
All the samples Lookout analyzed were from Android apps, although they say there is an iOS version. Legitimate-looking apps hid the spyware, tricking users into installing it.
Google says it has alerted the affected users and put steps into place to protect Android users from the spyware.
Spyware and malware of this scale is almost always targeted. You can limit the possibility of attackers getting on your devices with a few simple rules.
If you don’t recognize the app name, do a quick search to see if anyone has reported issues. And check your installed apps every so often, because sometimes malware adds new content after a while.
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