Hackers used Android Malware to spy on Israeli Military Personnel |

Hackers used Android Malware to spy on Israeli Military Personnel

A group of sophisticated hackers have targeted the Android phones of Israeli Defense personnel by developing a malware named ViperRAT that has spying functions exposing the vital and sensitive whereabouts of the soldiers to the sly enemies. This malware has been specifically created to hijack Israeli soldiers’ Android devices and remotely siphon off valuable data like photos, designs or audio recordings directly from the compromised devices. Adding to the woes, it can even access the contact list, read text messages or eavesdrop on conversations.

According to the investigation, the defense personnel were lured with social engineering techniques into entering communications with hackers who posed as attractive women from various countries like Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. The soldiers were conned into installing a Trojan version of two different, typically legitimate Android chat apps, SR Chat and YeeCall Pro, for easier communication.

The malware has also been distributed using a dropper hidden in other Android smartphone applications including a billiards game, an Israeli Love Songs player, and a Move To iOS app, which are common to Israeli citizens and available in the Google Play store. Once the app is downloaded and installed on the smartphones, it masquerades as an update for an already installed app and tricks the victims into permitting the update in order for it to carry out the surveillance.

According to researchers, the hackers successfully established a widespread cyber espionage campaign with ViperRAT malware by successfully spying on a good number of popular brand mobile devices belonging to more than 100 Israeli soldiers. This malware gathered a wide range of data from the compromised devices including Geo-location, call logs, images, SMS, network and device metadata, internet browsing history and app download status.

This malware is still keeping the defense and security personnel on their toes and forcing them to impose stringent guidelines for the soldiers in an attemtp to thwart any future security breaches.

eScan agrees with such set of guidelines which asks every individual to not download any app without proper verification. The authenticity of an app needs to be verified with the help of reputed sources and anything unusual should be dropped immediately. By installing eScan Mobile Security for Android, devices can be scanned regularly to evaluate the presence of any malicious app or detect any suspicious activity.

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