Cyber criminal gangs from Asia are using advanced Android apps that can steal private data and record conversations for sex extortion – or sextortion – and blackmail.
The attacks originate from South Korea and Japan have evolved to using malicious mobile apps to steal personal data and intercept text messages and phone calls.
According to a new report by cyber security researchers from Trend Micro, cyber criminals routinely make fake profiles on social media networks posing as attractive women to lure victims, and then persuade them to move onto a platform where there is video capability.
On that platform – Skype, for example – the hacker persuades the victim to be intimate and then secretly records an explicit video of the user. The video is then used to blackmail the victim into paying money, under threat that the video will be made public on a video sharing website like YouTube.
“Mobile sextortion is prominent in South Korea though a case was also seen in Japan,” the researchers write in their report. “In-depth investigation on various sextortion scams led us to developers in China tasked to create malicious apps and sites using Chinese and Korean.”
The researchers discovered no less than 26 different malicious apps that included the keywords “voice support” and “security authentication”. There were also fake apps masquerading as private messaging apps, such as Just the Two of Us and Single Talk, as well as photo apps like My Photo Box 2.0 Beta and Gallery 2.0 Beta.