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Mobile Malware Variant Shifts Its Focus from iOS to Android

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By Marcos Colon

iOS malware that was leveraged by attackers in 2016 to spy on dissidents in multiple countries has now morphed into a threat for Android devices.

Security researchers at Lookout and Google have discovered the variant of Pegasus, which was originally developed by NSO Group Technologies, an Israeli firm that specializes in developing and selling surveillance software, according to CSO Online’s Salted Hash blog.

While the iOS version needed zero-day exploits to compromise the device, the Android version doesn’t.

“Pegasus for Android does not require zero-day vulnerabilities to root the target device and install the malware,” Mike Murray, vice president of security intelligence at Lookout wrote in a recent blog post. “Instead, the threat uses an otherwise well-known rooting technique called Framaroot.”

The malware can log keystrokes, perform screen captures, control the device via SMS, and can self-destruct if a kill command is issued.

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