Spyware is just one of the many things an Android user needs to protect himself from, to make sure any app with spyware does not get installed on the user’s device. But the proliferation of malicious software just makes it so darned difficult. Take for example spyware which are of the “SonicSpy” variant which is currently embedded on a lot of apps being distributed out there.
As per security research outfit Lookout, there are over a thousand apps that carry the SonicSpy spyware – and unfortunately for us, a number of these have made their way to the Google Play Store. Take for instance the messaging app called “Soniac”, which does what it claims to do (a messaging app that’s actually a customized version of the Telegram app), but also installs SonicSpy onto your system.
Once installed, SonicSpy can do any of 73 different remote instructions – including silently recording audio, taking photos with the camera, making outbound calls, sending text messages to attacker specified numbers, and retrieving information such as call logs, contacts, and information about Wi-Fi access points.
From what it looks like, this variant of spyware is pretty dangerous in what it can get out of your Android device. As per usual, users need to make sure of what apps they install and what permissions these apps require upon installation.