New GhostCtrl Virus Is Filming You Through Your Android Apps

July 20, 2017

11:30 am

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg told us he covers his laptop camera with a piece of tape for security reasons, the fear of malware has been real in the tech world and beyond. With cyber crimes becoming a staple of the evening news, while costing businesses far too much money, it would appear hackers are always up for a challenge. But this time, they might have outdone themselves.

As multiple sources have reported, a new malware virus, dubbed GhostCtrl, will easily be the creepiest thing you hear about today. Disguising itself as fake Android apps such as WhatsApp or Pokemon Go, the virus got its name for its ability to stealthily control parts of your smartphone. TrendMicro broke the story, citing a wide range of unsettling things that prove this virus is clearly not messing around.

“The data GhostCtrl steals is extensive, compared to other Android info-stealers,” said TrendMicro, the TrendLabs security intelligence blog. “Besides the aforementioned information types, GhostCtrl can also pilfer information like Android OS version, username, Wi-Fi, battery, Bluetooth, and audio states, UiMode, sensor, data from camera, browser, and searches, service processes, activity information, and wallpaper.

 

It can also intercept text messages from phone numbers specified by the attacker. Its most daunting capability is how it can surreptitiously record voice or audio.”

TrendMicro also reports that the malware will also trigger malicious routines such as reseting passwords, getting your phone to play different sounds and rings, control your Bluetooth and connect to another device, and more.

What can you do to avoid getting hacked: first and foremost update your software, make sure you only download official WhatsApp, Pokemon Go, or other Android apps, and research the company of other apps before you download them, back up your data and photos and don’t open any suspicious links to an app. If you want to take it a step further, there are mobile security solutions you can install on your phone.

In so many words, this is bad. As we’ve reported on TechCo a number of times, cybersecurity is not being taken seriously by large corporations and budding startups, let alone individuals. And with technology advancing at this rate, you’re going to need a bigger boat if you want to keep your information secure from these skilled, albeit malicious, hackers.

Read more about cybersecurity on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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