Hackers Flood Android App Stores – Including Play Store – With 1000 Spyware Apps

Melbourne, Australia - May 23, 2016: Close-up view of Google Play Store on Android smartphone and Apple's App Store on iPhone. Both stores allow users to download app, music, movies and TV shows.

SAN FRANCISCO – Hackers have flooded Android app stores – including the official Google Play store – with over one thousand spyware apps which have the capability to monitor almost every action on an infected device.

Dubbed SonicSpy, the malware can silently record calls and audio, take photos, make calls, send text messages to numbers specified by the attackers, monitor calls logs and contacts and monitor information about Wi-Fi access points.

In total, SonicSpy can be ordered to remotely perform 73 different commands and its suspected to be the work of malware developers in Iraq.

Marketed as a messaging application, the malware performs the advertised messaging function in order to avoid users getting suspicious of the download, while all the while stealing their data and transferring it to a command and control server.

SonicSpy has been uncovered by researchers at Lookout after they discovered three versions of it live in the official Google Play app store, each advertised as a messaging service.

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