Malware ‘Skygofree’ can steal WhatsApp messages from Android phones


An Italian job?

In a troubling new report, Russian firm Kaspersky Lab has dicovered a smartphone surveillance software that can steal encrypted WhatsApp messages from Android phones.

The snooping malware, dubbed Skygofree, can switch on the microphone when a smartphone enters a specified location. It is also capable of seizing call records, calendar events and locations stored on the device’s memory.

According to Forbes, researchers from Kaspersky believe that the spyware outbreak has come from an Italian vendor. The researchers have reportedly traced Skygofree back to Negg, an Italian IT company that offers spying tools and counts Italian law enforcement among its customers.

“High end mobile malware is very difficult to identify and block and the developers behind Skygofree have clearly used this to their advantage: creating and evolving an implant that can spy extensively on targets without arousing suspicion,” Alexey Firsh, Malware Analyst at Kaspersky told media.