Android spyware SMSVova managed to dupe users into thinking it offered a system update app, but instead secretly operated in the background and revealed victims' real-time geo-location data to attackers, according to researchers at cloud security company Zscaler ThreatLabz.
After the app gets downloaded and the user tries to fire it up, it would abruptly quit and deliver a message that the update service had stopped. But in reality, the app would hide itself and operate in the background.
SMSVova spyware would then grab the victim's most current location and set up shared preferences, which is one of the many methods Android uses to store an application's data. The Android spyware would also allow attackers to send out a text message with "get faq" and SMSVova would respond to a set of commands, according to Zscaler.
SMSVova, which has garnered between 1 million to 5 million downloads, has managed to fly under the radar for awhile, ducking detection by Google since it was last updated in December 2014. Google has since removed the app from its Play Store, after receiving notice of its nefarious purpose from Zscaler.
Read more about SMSVova here.
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