Highlights

  • RCS Lab of Italy has developed the Hermit malware as a spy tool
  • Affects both iOS and Android phones

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Hermit malware used to spy on iPhones and Android phones

Italian malware Hermit can disguise itself as a legit website of a popular brand.

Google has disclosed that Hermit, a hacking tool developed by an Italian business, was used to spy on Android and iOS handsets in Italy and Kazakhstan.

RCS Lab of Milan, whose website claims European law enforcement agencies as clients, provides technologies such as Hermit to snoop on the private messages and contacts of targeted mobile devices.

Analysis of Hermit revealed that it can be used to gain control of smartphones, record audio, redirect calls, and gather information including contacts, messages, photos, and location.

Also watch: Minors can now upload video selfies to verify their age on Instagram

Hermit deceives consumers by showing the real websites of the brands it impersonates, while in the background it initiates malicious operations.

In several cases, Google claimed that there is a possibility that hackers using RCS’ malware worked with the target's internet service provider, indicating that they may be government-backed attackers.

Google stated that it has issued a warning to Android users affected by the malware and has also increased software defenses. Apple also claims to have taken precautions to safeguard iPhone consumers.

According to the Alphabet-owned tech giant, Google's threat team is following more than thirty firms that market surveillance capabilities to governments.

European and American officials have considered the possibility of implementing additional restrictions on the sale and import of spyware.

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