Trend Micro, a cybersecurity firm based in Texas, has discovered an Android app that hackers are using to extort victims.
The app would essentially turn a victim’s device into a recorder, and intercept all messages and phone calls that went through. First, the hackers would attempt to lure their victims through the use of chatting tools like Skype. They would then fake audio and messaging issues to try and fool a potential victim into downloading a malicious Android app, which has the ability to steal phone numbers, as well as passwords and address books.
Many of the hackers have used the stolen information in an attempt to extort and blackmail victims. Trend Micro traced the email, social media, and bank accounts of the Android app developers to China, and discovered that multiple bank accounts were opened for several extortion campaigns. It is believed that hackers are mostly preying on victims in China and Korea.