Cloned WhatsApp app spies on Indians via video, audio recording

Image source: PIXABAY WhatsApp

India is one of the countries with the highest number of Android Trojan detections and an unofficial cloned third-party version of WhatsApp is at the forefront of spying on people’s chats in the country, a newer has warned. report.

Behind much of the Android spyware detection over the past four months was “GB WhatsApp” – a popular but cloned third-party version of WhatsApp, according to the report from cybersecurity firm ESET.

These rogue apps have a wide range of spying capabilities, including audio and video recording.

“The cloned app is not available on Google Play and therefore no security checks are in place compared to legitimate WhatsApp, and the versions available on various download websites are riddled with malware,” indicates the report.

India (35%) was also ranked second after China (53%) as geolocation of bots making up the largest Internet of Things (IoT) botnet called “Mozi” from May to August 2022.

The ‘Mozi’ IoT botnet 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 continued to have the highest number of location-based IoT bots in the respective countries.

“These statistics support the hypothesis that the ‘Mozi’ botnet has been on autopilot, operating without human oversight since its reputed author was arrested in 2021,” the report said.

Even with declining numbers, Russian IP addresses continued to be responsible for the bulk of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks.

“Russia was also the most targeted country for ransomware, with some of the attacks being politically or ideologically motivated by war,” said Roman Kovac, Research Director at ESET.

The report also looked at threats primarily affecting home users.

“In terms of threats directly affecting virtual and physical currencies, a web skimmer known as Magecart remains the top threat attacking the credit card details of online shoppers,” Kovac said.

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