Dear social media mongers, amidst all the talk about the Coronavirus and keeping your body’s health in check, your digital safety needs kicking up a notch too.
Because, pretty recently, security researchers discovered, what is being called as a “Stalkerware”, which stalks your activities over various social platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Gmail, Facebook, and others.
‘MonitorMinor’, per the sources, is definitely the most formidable one in its line.
Stalkerware are “monitoring software” or ‘Spyware’ that are employed either by people with serious trust issues or officials who need to spy for legitimate reasons.
Via this extremely creepy spyware kind, gathering information like the target’s ‘Geographical location’ and Messaging and call data is a cakewalk. Geo-fencing is another spent feature of it.
This particular stalkerware is hitting the headlines this hard because, MonitorMinor has the competence to spy on ‘Communication channels’, like most of our beloved messaging applications.
The discoverers of this stalkerware issued a report in which they mentioned that in a “clean” Android system, direct communication between applications is blocked by the “Sandbox” to kill the possibilities of the likes of this spyware gaining access to any social media platform’s data. This is because of the model called “Discretionary Access Control” (DAC).
Per sources, the author of the stalkerware in question manipulates the “SuperUser-type app” (SU utility) (if present) allowing them root-access to the system.
The presence of the SU utility makes all the difference for the worse. Because owing to it and its manipulation, MonitorMinor gains root access to the system.
The applications on the radar are BOTIM, Facebook, Gmail, Hangouts, Hike News & Content, Instagram, JusTalk, Kik, LINE, Skype, Snapchat, Viber, and Zalo-Video Call.
From lock patterns to passwords, MonitorMinor has the power to dig out files that exist in the system as ‘data’. And it obviously can use them to unlock devices. This happens to be the first stalkerware to be able to do so, mention sources.
Per reports, the procedure is such that the “persistence mechanism” as a result of the malware manipulates the root access. The stalkerware then reverts the system section to read/write from the initial read-only mode, copies itself on it, deletes itself from the user section, and conveniently goes back to read-only mode again.
Reports mention that even without the root access, MonitorMinor can do a consequential amount of harm to targets. It can control events in apps by manipulating the “Accessibility Services”. A “keylogger” is also effected via the API to permit forwarding of contents.
Unfortunately, victims can’t do much to eradicate the stalkerware form their systems, yet.
Other functions of the stalkerware include:
• Access to real-time videos from the device’s camera
• Access to the system log, contact lists, internal storage contents, browsing history of on Chrome, usage stats of particular apps
• Access to sound recordings from the device’s microphone
• Control over the device’s SMS commands.
The security researchers released a report by the contents of which, it was clear that the installation rate of it was the maximum in India, closely followed by Mexico and then Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.
The researchers also per reports have reasons to believe that possibly the MonitorMinor might have been developed by an Indian because they allegedly found a ‘Gmail account with an Indian name’ in the body of MonitorMinor.