Fake Volcano Alerts Make Android Malware Spread Across Italy

A dangerous malware campaign has appeared on Android smartphones in Italy. Users are led to believe that there is an official government warning of a volcanic eruption in their region.

Play with the fear of active volcanoes

Anyone who clicks on the message will download data-stealing Android malware. This is reported by the online magazine Bleeping Computer.

The latest campaign from the SpyNote malware family was discovered by security specialists at D3Lab. SpyNote is known for the fact that the people behind it use a variety of tricks – including fake Netflix, WhatsApp, or Facebook apps – to get onto their victims’ devices.

Things were quiet around SpyNote for a while, but then the malware’s source code was leaked and has been spreading rapidly ever since.

All SpyNote variants now in circulation demand access to Android system permissions in order to install new applications, intercept SMS messages (to bypass two-way authentication), spy on calls, and record video and audio on the device. The aim is to intercept data and spy on passwords.

In the cases now discovered in Italy, there was a “honeypot” to entice victims to download the malware. Unknown people imitated the website of the official disaster warning in Italy, IT-Alert, and placed advertising for it.

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