Mobile Malware and APT Espionage: Prolific, Pervasive, and Cross-Platform

Until now, the public’s exposure to mobile phone malware has been dominated by news about the privately run “greyware” vendors who have made headlines for being purveyors of spyware tools. These commercial smartphone spyware tools reportedly end up in the hands of autocrats who use it to hamper free speech, quash dissent, or worse. Consumers of these news stories are often left with the impression that mobile malware is just something paranoid dictators purchase for use within their own borders in remote third world nations. It is not.

In this report, BlackBerry researchers reveal what the focus on those groups has overshadowed: several governments with well-established cyber capabilities have long ago adapted to and exploited the mobile threat landscape for a decade or more. In this context, mobile malware is not a new or niche effort, but a longstanding part of a cross-platform strategy integrated with traditional desktop malware in diverse ways across the geopolitical sphere.

This approach has allowed state and state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups to exploit a mobile dimension for espionage campaigns with impunity.

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Source: BlackBerry Cylance