Indian smart phone scammers pose as Russians

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Scammer holds smartphoneA small number of smart phone users in India have fallen victim to a highly-targeted malware attack by being conned into downloading an open-source mobile device management (MDM) software package onto their iPhones.

The attackers, who are based in India but are masquerading as Russians, have been operating since 2015 and have only compromised thirteen iPhone users so far. Using sophisticated social engineering techniques to gain control of the mobile devices, they then harvest phone numbers, user locations and contact details – thereby gaining access to text and chat messages, photos and contacts via fake but authentic-looking versions of SMS, Telegram and WhatsApp.

Despite the limited number of victims, smartphone users are being advised to treat unsolicited apps with suspicion and only give access to their devices to bona fide providers.