Even as WhatsApp has tried to play down the chance of group chats being vulnerable to hacking, another report based on research has emerged, which speaks of an Android spyware that records the activities of WhatsApp users. The malware, called Skygofree, has been discovered by cyber security firm Kaspersky Labs, which further revealed that the malware has been in existence since 2014.
Skygofree has the potential to execute a number of remote commands, including taking pictures or recording videos through the affected Android devices. The researches even found that the malware can trigger an audio recording when the user enters a specified location.
The only saving grace, if at all, is that the malware appears to be limited to Italy only so far. The malware itself appears to be the handiwork of an Italian company and the complaints of devices being affected have emerged from Italy only. The research work has established that the malware has been created three years ago and was being worked upon to make it even more lethal.
Some of the threats detected include the ability to spy on the messages being sent using the affected devices, through Accessibility Services and the infected device can even be connected to remote Wi-Fi terminals controlled by those precipitate the attacks.
The research team has gone on the mention that Skygofree is 'one of the most powerful spyware tools' ever made’ for this platform. They have pointed out that ‘usage of multiple exploits for gaining root privileges, a complex payload structure and never-before-seen surveillance features’ are all threats found in the malware which have surprised the researchers.
The malware plants look-alike web pages to deceive the device owners and these further spread the virus.
WhatsApp administrators and their technology team have to work overtime to find a fix for this malware and stop it before it gets out of control or spreads beyond Italy.