August 31, 2018 By David Bisson 2 min read

Researchers uncovered an Android spyware family called BondPath that is capable of retrieving chats from several mobile messaging apps while spying on other types of information.

BondPath has been around since May 2016, but in July 2018, researchers at Fortinet observed that some samples were still in the wild. Those specimens masqueraded as “Google Play Store Services,” an application signed by an unknown developer known only as “hola.” The name of this malicious application is intentionally similar to Google Play Services, the title of the process Google uses to update Android apps from the Play Store.

Upon successful execution, BondPath assumes the ability to steal an infected device’s browser history, call logs, emails and SMS messages. But a few less frequently used capabilities made BondPath stand out to the researchers, such as its ability to monitor an infected smartphone’s battery status. It could also steal chats from WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, Line and other mobile messaging apps.

The Rise and Fall of Spyware

According to Verizon’s “2018 Data Breach Investigations Report,” spyware and keylogger malware were involved in 121 security incidents and 74 data breaches in 2017. This threat category increased its activity during the second half of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, yielding a 56 percent increase in detections during the first quarter of 2018, according to Malwarebytes. Spurred in part by a series of large attack campaigns pushing Emotet, Malwarebytes named spyware as the top detected business threat for the quarter.

Near the end of the first quarter, spyware activity declined significantly. It continued falling throughout the second quarter, ultimately decreasing by 40 percent, according to Malwarebytes. In that span of time, TrickBot was the most prevalent form of spyware after it added the ability to hijack cryptocurrency earlier in the year.

How to Protect Against Mobile Threats

To defend their organizations against BondPath and similar mobile threats that originate in official app stores, security teams should keep applications and operating systems running at the current patch level, verify the legitimacy of unsolicited email attachments through a separate channel, and monitor their IT environment for the indicators of compromise (IoCs) listed in the IBM X-Force Exchange threat advisory.

Sources: Fortinet, Verizon, Malwarebytes, Malwarebytes(1)

More from

Brands are changing cybersecurity strategies due to AI threats

3 min read -  Over the past 18 months, AI has changed how we do many things in our work and professional lives — from helping us write emails to affecting how we approach cybersecurity. A recent Voice of SecOps 2024 study found that AI was a huge reason for many shifts in cybersecurity over the past 12 months. Interestingly, AI was both the cause of new issues as well as quickly becoming a common solution for those very same challenges.The study was conducted…

39% of MSPs report major setbacks when adapting to advanced security technologies

4 min read - SOPHOS, a leading global provider of managed security solutions, has recently released its annual MSP Perspectives report for 2024. This most recent report provides insights from 350 different managed service providers (MSPs) across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia on modern cybersecurity tools solutions. It also documents newly discovered risks and challenges in the industry.Among the many findings of this most recent report, one of the most concerning trends is the difficulties MSPs face when adapting their service…

Hackers are increasingly targeting auto dealers

3 min read - Update as of July 11, 2024 In late June, more than 15,000 car dealerships across North America were affected by a cyberattack on CDK Global, which provides software to car dealers. After two cyberattacks over two days, CDK shut down all systems, which caused delays for car buyers and disruptions for the dealerships. Many dealerships went back to manual processes, including handwriting up orders, so that sales could continue at a slower pace. Car buyers who recently bought a car from…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today