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Police Hit Users Of DroidJack Malware

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Authorities raid homes across Europe of users of Android smartphone tracking malware DroidJack

Police have begun a global clampdown on users of RAT (remote access trojan) malware known as DroidJack, which is targeting Android smartphone users.

Police in the Germany, UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland and the United States reportedly raided the homes of users of DroidJack, but not the shadowy authors of the malware.

Police Raids

DroidJack is touted as a “Android Remote Administration Tool” sold for just £137 online. But in reality it is a mobile phone malware that allows cybercriminals monitor a smartphone’s data traffic, eavesdrop on phone conversations, or even hijack a phone’s camera.

police“On 27 October 2015, in an investigation initiated by Germany and supported by Europol and Eurojust, law enforcement officials from Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, Switzerland and the United States have carried out a number of house searches and arrests of suspected users of the mobile phone malware DroidJack, which allows cybercriminals to take over control of Android smartphones without their owners noticing,” said Europol in a statement.

There is no word on any arrests following the police raids, and according to the BBC, the UK’s National Crime Agency was not able to confirm any details of the UK operation.

News agencies said that a total of 13 homes in Germany and one in Switzerland had been raided, and that German suspects were aged between 19 and 51.

“It can track a user’s every move without their knowledge,” Peter Coogan, principal security response manager at Symantec was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“There was a documented case back in 2014. I think where it was being sent out via spam email and pretending to be a bank. It is likely at that time that they were trying to steal banking details off the phone,” he told the BBC.

Android Security

DroidJack is just the latest in an ongoing list of security vulnerabilities for the Android operating system.

In an effort to combat Android’s reputation as being the least secure mobile operating system, Samsung and Google recently announced their respective smartphones and tablets will receive monthly security updates to better protect customers.

That move was prompted in part by the uncovering of a serious flaw in Android.

In the summer, security researchers said they uncovered flaws affecting nearly all Android devices that they say could allow a smartphone or tablet to be automatically infected with malicious code via a specially crafted MMS message.

The vulnerability known as ‘Stagefright’ affected 95 percent of Android devices, or about 950 million units, according to Zimperium zLabs.

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