India Issues Warning About Advanced Android Malware Threat


India's Controller General of Defence Accounts, a division of the Defense Ministry, has issued an advisory warning citizens about a sophisticated malware threat targeting Android users. The malware, known as DogeRAT, has been identified as a Remote Access Trojan capable of accessing sensitive data and giving hackers control over infected devices.

The advisory, originally brought to attention by cybersecurity startup CloudSEK, highlights that the malware primarily targets Android users in India. It is distributed through social media and messaging platforms disguised as legitimate apps, including ChatGPT, Opera Mini, and even fake "premium versions" of popular apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Instagram.

Once installed on a victim's device, DogeRAT gains unauthorized access to sensitive data, including contacts, messages, and banking credentials. The malware can also take over infected devices, allowing hackers to send spam, make unauthorized payments, alter files, capture photos and keystrokes, track the user's location, and record audio.

While the origin of the threat remains unknown, the advisory notes that cybercriminals have used Telegram to distribute fake versions of popular apps as part of their recent attack. To mitigate the risk, the Defense Ministry advises its departments and officials not to download apps from unverified third-party sources, avoid clicking on links from unknown senders, keep smartphones updated with the latest software and security patches, and install antivirus apps.

India has seen a surge in cybersecurity breaches as it embraces digitization, becoming the world's second-largest internet market after China. The Indian IT ministry reported a 171% increase in cybersecurity incidents affecting government departments, rising from 70,798 in 2018 to 192,439 in 2022. The nation has also faced significant cyberattacks, including one that targeted the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), impacting 1.3 terabytes of data.

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, staying vigilant and adopting cybersecurity best practices is crucial for individuals and organizations to protect sensitive information and maintain online security.



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