Warning! WhatsApp’s cloned app spying on YOU via audio or recording


New Delhi: India is one of the countries with the highest number of Android Trojan detections, and a cloned, unofficial version of third-party WhatsApp leads the way in spying on people’s chats in the country, a new report has warned. Behind much of the Android spyware detection in the past four months was ‘GB WhatsApp’ – a popular but cloned version of third-party WhatsApp, according to the report from cybersecurity firm ESET.

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Such malicious apps have a wide range of spying capabilities, including recording audio and video. “The cloned app is not available on Google Play and therefore there are no security checks compared to the legitimate WhatsApp, and versions available on various download websites are full of malware,” the report said.

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India (35 percent) was also second only to China (53 percent) as the geolocation for bots making up the largest Internet of Things (IoT) botnet called ‘Mozi’ from May to August 2022. The IoT botnet ‘Mozi’ saw the number of bots drop by 23 per cdnt from 500,000 compromised devices to 383,000 in May-August.

However, China and India still had the highest number of IoT bots in the respective countries. “These statistics confirm the assumption that the ‘Mozi’ botnet has been running on autopilot and without human supervision since the alleged author was arrested in 2021,” the report said.

Even with dwindling numbers, Russian IP addresses continued to be responsible for the bulk of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks. “Russia was also the country most targeted by ransomware, and some attacks were politically or ideologically motivated by the war,” said Roman Kovac, Chief Research Officer at ESET.

The report also examined threats that primarily affect home users. “In terms of threats directly affecting virtual and physical currencies, a web skimmer known as Magecart remains the single biggest threat going after the credit card information of online shoppers,” Kovac said.





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