Iran ‘Hides Spyware in Wallpaper, Restaurant and Games Apps’

Iran is running two surveillance operations in cyber-space, targeting more than 1,000 dissidents, according to a leading cyber-security company. From a report: The efforts were directed against individuals in Iran and 12 other countries, including the UK and US, Check Point said. It said the two groups involved were using new techniques to install spyware on targets’ PCs and mobile devices. And this was then being used to steal call recordings and media files.

One of the groups, known as Domestic Kitten or APT-50, is accused of tricking people into downloading malicious software on to mobile phones by a variety of means including: repackaging an existing version of an authentic video game found on the Google Play store, mimicking an app for a restaurant in Tehran, offering a fake mobile-security app, providing a compromised app that publishes articles from a local news agency, supplying an infected wallpaper app containing pro-Islamic State imagery, masquerading as an Android application store to download further software.

The American-Israeli company’s researchers documented 1,200 victims being targeted by the campaign, living in seven countries. There had been more than 600 successful infections, it said.