Meta: 8 Spyware Companies Targeting iOS, Android, and Windows Devices

Sophia Rodriguez

Meta Issues Warning About 8 Spyware Companies Targeting iOS, Android, and Windows

Meta Platforms recently released its Adversarial Threat Report, highlighting malicious activities from eight spyware firms based in Italy, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), known for targeting iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

What’s Happening?

Capabilities of the spyware include accessing device information, location, photos, media, contacts, calendar, email, SMS, social media, and messaging apps, as well as enabling microphone, camera, and screenshot functionality.

The companies responsible include Cy4Gate/ELT Group, RCS Labs, IPS Intelligence, Variston IT, TrueL IT, Protect Electronic Systems, Negg Group, and Mollitiam Industries. These firms also engaged in scraping, social engineering, and phishing targeting various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Why This Matters

Some notable activities include the use of fictitious personas linked to RCS Labs for data collection and phishing, as well as accounts associated with Variston IT used for exploit development and testing. Meta also discovered accounts used by Negg Group and Mollitiam Industries for spyware delivery testing and data scraping.

In addition to this, Meta took action on networks from China, Myanmar, and Ukraine exhibiting coordinated inauthentic behavior by removing over 2,000 accounts, Pages, and Groups from Facebook and Instagram.

Protect sensitive information in the use of social media and beware of  potential cyber attacks arising from data leakages

t/f Summary: Beware. Be Wise. Be Vigilant.

In response to these threats, Meta has introduced new features on Messenger for Android and WhatsApp to enhance security and reduce the potential attack surface.

Despite the efforts to counter the spyware industry, there are still new developments in surveillance tools. An example is “Patternz,” a surveillance tool that leverages real-time bidding (RTB) advertising data gathered from popular apps to track mobile devices. Another is an unknown mobile network attack called MMS Fingerprint, allegedly utilized by Pegasus-maker NSO Group.

As the surveillance industry continues to evolve, people must remain vigilant about the security of their devices and online activities.

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By Sophia Rodriguez “TF Eco-Tech”
Sophia Rodriguez is the eco-tech enthusiast of the group. With her academic background in Environmental Science, coupled with a career pivot into sustainable technology, Sophia has dedicated her life to advocating for and reviewing green tech solutions. She is passionate about how technology can be leveraged to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world and often speaks at conferences and panels on this topic.
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