Discovered by Kaspersky Lab researchers, it has already affected several people in our country. It is activated thanks to geolocation and spies on WhatsApp messages
Kaspersky researchers, who have been at the forefront of the fight against malware and cybercrime for 20 years, admit that they have never seen such an advanced spying tool "in the wild". Nor did they believe, probably, that it could be able to survive so long (it's been active since 2014) going unnoticed or almost.
The fact is that Skygofree, Android spyware among the most powerful ever detected so far, in this period of time has managed to infect several devices in Italy alone, putting at risk the data on smartphones and the all-round privacy of users. The main concern for security analysts, as we'll see in detail in a moment, is Skygofree's ability to record audio and ambient voices depending on where a person is: a feature that makes Android spyaware one of the most powerful spying tools around today. In short, Skygofree is not to be trifled with.
How Skygofree Works
To infect its victims, the Android spyware is distributed through a social engineering campaign. Specifically, Skygofree replicates web pages of the major mobile operators in our country, directing traffic to infected portals. In short, all you have to do is click on the wrong banner to find yourself infected with this powerful spyware.
What Skygofree does
Once installed on the device's memory, Skygofree immediately gets administrator permissions, so it can act undisturbed and, most importantly, without the user being aware of anything. Created in 2014, Skygofree has been constantly updated with new and increasingly powerful features. Today it counts as many as 48 commands, which allow its creators to access all the various hardware components of the smartphone.
With Skygofree, as mentioned, you can automatically activate the smartphone's microphone depending on where the owner is and thus record everything that happens nearby. Not only that, exploiting accessibility settings, Skygofree can spy on WhatsApp conversations, capture images and record videos, get the list of calls, SMS, geolocation information, calendar events and business data stored in the device's memory.
How to defend yourself against Skygofree
According to Kaspersky experts, Skygofree is still active and ready to strike at any time. To defend yourself against this Android spyaware, despite being so powerful and dangerous, you need to implement some simple countermeasures. First of all, avoid clicking on advertisements or unclear pages and always make sure that the URLs of the visited pages do not hide something unclear. Also, you should pay special attention to e-mail messages received from unknown people or companies or with unexpected requests or attachments.