Dangerous spyware app lets strangers record you: Google warning

Researchers have discovered a dangerous spyware application that can allow anyone to listen to your personal and private information. The deceptive spyware app has the ability to record you through your camera, microphone and track your location.

What happens next is even more menacing. It is programmed to send your records, location and personal data to unidentified organization in root of this rogue application.

Looks like a legit settings gear icon

The dangerous spyware app looks like a legitimate icon to adjust settings on Android devices. The gear icon is labeled “Process Manager”. So far, it is unknown how the impostor spyware spreads on victims’ devices, even though it is found on Android phones and tablets.

What happens if you accidentally download

If you click on it, the app prompts you to get permissions granted for up to 18 dangerous requests to the spyware app.

Already, experts have seen troubling permissions for attempts to unlock, lock the screen, set password expiration, set storage encryption, and disable cameras based on the warning.

In some cases, the Process Manager spyware app tries to download an app called “Rozdhan” using a short Google link to redirect the device to other websites.

Suspected Russian origin

Lab52 experts who have analyzed the malicious app say it bears the hallmarks of spying technology deployed by state-sponsored Russian hackers to target Americans and Western democracies.

The rogue app uses the same snooper technology infrastructure with proven ties to the Kremlin.

That said, no direct links to Russian hacking groups have yet been established. Moreover, it will be difficult to assign the criminals behind it due to the way the spyware application works.

How to spot the dangerous “Process Manager” spyware

Red Flag #1 Permissions appear to access your camera, location, and more. Thinking this is a normal Android process manager request, if you say yes, it may take control of your device.

Red Flag #2 Invisible. You may never see it. The app is smart enough to try to take over the administrative power of your device and then hide from you.

Red Flag #3 Process running. You may notice an unexpected process running at the top of your screen, but not always.

The areas of greatest concern are permissions for your camera, microphone, location, and any personal information.

Do it now to protect yourself against Android spyware

  1. Check app permissions on your Android phone or tablet
  2. Faucet Settings from the home screen > scroll to apps or Apps and Notifications > press Permissions
  3. Scroll and review each app paying special attention to the rogue search “Process Manager” or “Rozdan” apps
  4. Revoke any permissions you don’t want to allow or don’t recognize as legitimate by turning off every switch or going dark

For some Samsung Android devices: tap Settings from home screen > apps > Application Manager to review each app and its permissions. Disable the switch next to each permission you want to revoke

Use powerful antivirus protection on all your devices

More than ever, it has never been more important to use strong security and virus protection on all your devices. See my review of the best antivirus security protection for 2022 here, including the TotalAV top pick.

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About Sandra A. Powell

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