Here’s an interesting thought for you today. Who knows more about you than you do? Your wife? Husband? Parents? It may surprise you to learn that for pretty much everyone, your smartphone knows a lot more about you than you know about yourself. Think about it. Do you know the access codes for your bank or credit card? Can you tell me your exact schedule for the past two years? Probably not, but I’ll bet that most of this information is readily available on your phone.
It knows where you are at all times. It knows every person you talk to, and what you’ve said to them. It has your family photos, your pet’s pictures, your passwords and more. For attackers, it’s a digital passport to access everything they would need to know about a person.
And that’s why attacks on smartphones are on the rise. In fact, it’s become so common-place that the security industry has even attached a name to it, Dark Car-a-cal,, which is a global malware campaign targeting mobile devices that’s infected thousands of people in more than 20 countries.
The attack uses nearly identical versions of real apps, tricking thousands of people into installing it. Once it was on your phone, the attackers have access to everything.
The experts say that this is just a preview of what’s to come. Attacks on mobile devices are getting easier, yield a bigger reward and people are using smartphones much more than they use their computers.
The Dark Caracal attack focused on personal information and it didn’t need any new type of vulnerability to carry out its mission. The malware, which allows attackers to take photos, find your location and record audio.
It wasn’t an exploit that allowed Dark Caracal to do all those things — it was the victim. The Trojan app would ask for permissions like any other app would, and to the unsuspecting eye, they wouldn’t see anything wrong with the request.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard