WhatsApp users must delete two rogue Android apps NOW before they steal your private chats

ANDROID owners are being urged to check their phones for two rogue apps which can steal your WhatsApp conversations.

A recent investigation by internet security firm ESET revealed that a new version of spyware known as GravityRAT was being distributed on Android phones – using two messaging apps as a cyber-trojan-horse.

GravityRAT is a remote access tool which essentially grants hackers full control over a device from a remote location


GravityRAT is a remote access tool which essentially grants hackers full control over a device from a remote locationCredit: Getty – Contributor

The malicious messaging apps are called BingeChat and Chatico, and have been available to download online – but not via the official Google Play Store.

The pair present as a free messaging and file sharing service.

But their real purpose is much more sinister.

These apps have been injected with malware that can delete and steal vast amounts of data, including WhatsApp backup files, SMS messages, contact lists, device location, as well as photos and documents files.

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GravityRAT is a remote access tool, which had previously been used in targeted cyber attacks in India, but essentially grants hackers full control over a device from a remote location.

The malware strain has been active since at least 2015, Bleeping Computer points out, but has only grown popular among Android-targeting hacking groups since 2020.

In a statement, ESET researcher Lukáš Štefanko, who investigated the malicious apps, said: “We found a website that should provide the malicious app after tapping the DOWNLOAD APP button; however, it requires visitors to log in.

“We didn’t have credentials, and registrations were closed.

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“It is most probable that the operators only open registration when they expect a specific victim to visit, possibly with a particular IP address, geolocation, custom URL, or within a specific timeframe

“Although we couldn’t download the BingeChat app via the website, we

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Android 14 desires to preserve you in the loop on what applications are undertaking with your private spot facts

Wherever is exactly where the wild things are

A ton of people today want to know where by you are appropriate now and exactly where you’ve got been — they are not stalkers for every se, but somewhat, advertisers seeking to market companies that are applicable to you. You can come across these adverts all above the net together with on Android applications. When you’ve normally experienced techniques of tracking which applications are using your info for what reasons, Android 14 is on track to introduce nevertheless another way to continue to keep you informed of any changes in apps’ information-sharing guidelines.

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Mishaal Rahman, creating for XDA-Developers, has picked up on a new established of details privacy interfaces in Android 14 Developer Preview 1 that augment users’ recognition of applications that share their area knowledge.

This features new dialog packing containers when you look through an app’s spot authorization options or are granting area permissions to an app for the first time. The prompts condition that the app has declared it may well share your spot data with third functions. Tapping the prompt gives you particulars on why the publisher does so and delivers back links to your privateness configurations for instant motion if you so drive as effectively as to aspects from Google on what is actually entailed in knowledge sharing.

It would not have been the to start with time you’ve got regarded about this actions as the Google Play Retailer started including a Facts Basic safety segment of numerous declarations in all app listings last April.

But that’s not all: Google can take factors a stage even further in DP1 by like a new submenu in the Privacy section of the technique settings named “Information sharing updates.”


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