Meet Skygofree—The Multipurpose Mobile Trojan

A recent post in Kaspersky Lab detailed a powerful “new” Android trojan that has been operating since 2014 that was “discovered” in late 2017.

It’s called Skygofree (not related to the TV service Sky Go) and here are some of the things it can do:

  • Track where you are and turn on audio recording when you arrive at a specific location. A very scary innovation.
  • Automatically connect to hacker-controlled Wi-Fi to initiate man-in-the-middle attacks even if the user disables Wi-Fi on their phone.
  • Monitor user’s social media: Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Turn on camera and snap pictures without the user’s knowledge.
  • Prevent the malicious service from being killed by the phone’s OS.
  • Monitor calls, text messages and calendar entries.

Kaspersky found that the app is distributed through fake mobile sites and may be disguised as an app to increase internet speed.

Apple users should not rest easy. It is not a far stretch to think that cyber-criminals won’t have an iOS version soon (if they don’t have it already). By the way, a variant was also found that targets Windows.

So far, Kaspersky has found the infections concentrated in Italy (where it may have its roots since some code is in Italian) but as we all know, it’s a small world and Skygofree can easily come to the U.S.

The best advice—don’t download any apps from third-party sites, app stores or links in text messages and emails. Never install apps that ask for permissions that seem out-of-scope for its stated purpose.

If or when Skygofree comes here to the U.S., it will allow hackers to see and hear what is going on in private, personal locations as well as in corporate settings, using company or personal infected devices.

Remember, people are the weakest link in IT security. No matter how much money is spent on securing the IT infrastructure, overall security can be breached by well-meaning but uninformed employees.

Whether management realizes it or not, employees are part of the cyber-security landscape and need ongoing training.

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