A group of sophisticated hackers have targeted 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 conversations.
According to the investigation, the defense personnel were lured with social engineering techniques – mainly via honey traps from countries like Canada, Germany and Switzerland in Facebook messenger. The soldiers were conned into installing a Trojan version of apparently legitimate Android chat app for better engagement into adult conversation. Once the app is downloaded and installed in the smartphones, it pretends as an update for an already installed app and tricks the victims to permit the update to carry out the surveillance. Apparently the victims feel that they will be able to get close to those women and ultimately get preyed.
According to researchers, the hackers successfully established a widespread cyber espionage campaign with ViperRAT malware by taking hostage of a good number of mobile devices of popular brands 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 toes and forcing them to impose stringent guidelines for the soldiers to stay away from any further miscreant. eScan agrees with such set of guidelines which asks every individuals not to download any app without any proper verification. They need to crosscheck the authenticity with the help of reputed sources and anything unusual should be dropped immediately. It was even suggested to install a reputed mobile antivirus and regularly scan the smartphone to evaluate the presence of any suspicious app or detect any doubtful activity.