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istock mobile malwareA newly uncovered form of Android malware aims to steal data from over 40 popular apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype and Firefox - and the trojan has been actively engaging in in this illicit activity for almost two years.A newly uncovered form of Android malware aims to steal data from over 40 popular apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype and Firefox - and the trojan has been actively engaging in in this illicit activity for almost two years.

Dubbed SpyDealer by the Palo Alto Networks researchers who discovered it, the malware harvests vast accounts of personal information about compromised users, including phone numbers, messages, contacts, call history, connected wi-fi information and even the location of the device. The espionage capabilities of the trojan also enable it to record phone calls and videos, along with surrounding audio and video, take photos with both front and rear cameras, take screenshots of sensitive information and monitor the devices location at all times.

Described as an advanced form of Android malware, SpyDealer is able to open a backdoor onto compromised devices by abusing a commercially available Android accessibility service feature in order to root phones into providing superuser privileges.
Samples of the malware analysed by researchers suggests that the malware reuses root exploits used by commercial rooting app "Baidu Easy Root" in order to maintain itself on the compromised device while it harvests personal information and spies on communications from the apps with root privilege. more