No one will be surprised to learn there is such a thing as consumer-grade surveillance software. Pegasus is one of the most notorious types of such software. According to security researchers, an Android variant of this surveillance malware has been detected, which allows assailants to take screenshots, read emails, and capture audio. It is believed the Android variant is developed by the same group who created Pegasus.
Chrysaor Surveillance Malware Is Troublesome
Android users have had their fair share of malicious software problems in the past. Not only are there fake applications to deal with, but several types of malware have found their way to Android devices all over the world. One of the more recent types of troublesome software goes by the name of Chrysaor, which is the Android-based version of the Pegasus surveillance software.
It is evident this new malware is highly sophisticated and poses a legitimate threat to Android users. Although it is believed criminals will primarily use this malware for advanced espionage campaigns, it is not unlikely consumers will be targeted as well. After all, Chrysaor is more than capable of causing havoc, as criminals can capture audio, extract data from Android phones, and even read emails.
Security researchers believe the people responsible for Chrysaor are the same individuals who created the original Pegasus surveillance malware. This malware allows assailants to track any individual all over the world not just based on their location but also by looking at their online habits. Luckily, it appears this new malware has not found its way to many Android devices just yet.
To be more specific, Google’s security researchers discovered Chrysaor has been installed on about 30 devices so far. The malware cannot be downloaded from the Google Play Store. This seemingly indicates its creators are relying on more traditional distribution methods for Chrysaor, such as spam campaigns and drive-by-downloads. Moreover, the Android variant does not exploit Android vulnerabilities either.
Moreover, it appears this surveillance malware will only affect devices running older versions of the Android operating system. More particularly, the malware seemingly only affects Android versions 4.3 and older. Unfortunately, it appears a lot of devices are still running these older versions of Android, which makes Chrysaor quite a threat. Then again, as long as the number of installations remains minimal, no real damage will be done in the process.
One thing to keep in mind is how detecting Chrysaor is quite challenging, to say the least. As soon as the malware thinks it has been discovered, it will uninstall itself. The same protocol kicks in if the malware can’t communicate with the command-and-control server for 60 days, or if it receives a command from its creators to delete itself. It is easy to avoid the malware, though, as long as users only install applications from reputable sources.
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