Researchers who discovered Monokle claim it has abilities that they have never seen in the wild before. The malware falls under the classification of spyware, but it also has the functionality of a RAT (Remote Access Trojan). What we should mention from the start is that regular home users are unlikely to receive it as it appears the malicious application is highly targeted, which means its developers select their victims instead of attacking random users. If you continue reading this report, you can learn how this threat could be spread, what kinds of devices are targeted, and what could happen if the malicious application gets in. Should you have any questions about Monokle and its effective manner, do not hesitate to leave us a message in the comments section.
For starters, we should tell that specialists are almost sure that the hackers who created Monokle are the same cybercriminals whose tools were used to influence the 2016 US presidential elections. Researchers say that this new malicious application of theirs is a sophisticated Android surveillanceware tool. Of course, it does not mean that all Android devices are in danger. Specialists say that the malware’s developers pick their victims carefully. Some of the identified victims allow believing that cybercriminals are interested in the Caucasus regions and users who have connections or interest in Syria’s militant group called Ahrar al-Sham. Of course, if the hackers’ interests or goals change, they could use Monokle to attack other groups of users.
To distribute the malware, hackers picked specific legit applications, mostly chat apps, and infected their installers with Monokle. As a result, launching such setup files should install both the legitimate program and the threat. Since the malicious application works without drawing attention and the tool it was installed together with, it works as it should, the malware’s victims might be unable to suspect anything. What users should know is that infected installers might be spread through various websites. For example, hackers could pick sites that are popular among their targeted victims. Needless to say, those who would like to avoid this threat should keep away from software advertised on pop-ups and banners available on unreliable websites or sites unrelated to the chosen app. To be more precise, it is safest to obtain software from its official page.
Next, we should discuss Monokle’s capabilities. Sadly, the malicious application has quite a few of them. One of its functionalities is extracting sensitive information from other apps installed on an infected device. The malware can also view a victim’s chat messages and even intervene with them. Its capabilities may allow hackers to perform the so-called man-in-the-middle attacks, during which an attacker can alter messages without any of the conversation participants noticing it. Thus, the threat is capable of more than just recording sensitive information or spying on a victim. In fact, it was discovered that the malicious application might allow hackers to take pictures of an infected device’s screen when a user is inserting his lock-screen pattern, PIN, or password and record such data.
Obviously, manually deleting an application like Monokle is out of the question. To erase it, victims would have to employ reputable security tools that could remove the malware for them. Having a reliable antimalware tool is always a good idea if you want to keep your system secure. It can warn you about various threats, and it comes handy when you need to check suspicious files, such as attachments received with Spam or from unknown senders.