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Indian Government issues warning about DogeRAT malware targeting android users

While the source of this threat remains unknown, the advisory highlights a recent incident where cybercriminals used Telegram to distribute fake versions of popular apps like ChatGPT, Instagram, Opera Mini, and YouTube.

Edited By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Updated on: September 06, 2023 6:34 IST
malware attack india, malware, malware attack news, govt warning, cybersecurity, tech news
Image Source : FILE Indian Government cautions against Android malware via social media

In a recent advisory, the Indian government has raised concerns about a dangerous malware threat targeting Android users in the country through social media and messaging platforms. This malware, known as DogeRAT, poses a significant risk by potentially compromising sensitive data and granting hackers control over infected devices.

The advisory, issued by the Controller General of Defence Accounts, a department of the Ministry of Defense, describes the DogeRAT as a Remote Access Trojan. It primarily targets Android users in India as part of a sophisticated cyber campaign. The malware disguises itself as legitimate applications, such as Opera Mini, OpenAI ChatGPT, and premium versions of YouTube, Netflix, and Instagram, to infiltrate unsuspecting users' devices.

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Once DogeRAT finds its way onto a victim's device, it gains unauthorised access to sensitive information like contacts, messages, and banking credentials. Even more concerning, it can take complete control of the infected device, allowing hackers to send spam messages, initiate unauthorised payments, modify files, capture photos, and record keystrokes. Additionally, this malicious software can track the user's location and record audio, further compromising user privacy.

To protect against this threat, the Defence Ministry has advised its departments and officials not to download apps from untrusted third-party sources or click on links from unknown senders. They have also emphasised the importance of keeping smartphones up to date with the latest software and security patches and recommended the installation of antivirus apps.

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This advisory follows earlier findings by researchers from CloudSEK, a contextual AI company, who uncovered the DogeRAT targeting users across various industries, including banking and entertainment.

In addition, recent cybersecurity incidents, like the breach of the official website of the Ministry of AYUSH in Jharkhand, further underscore the need for heightened vigilance in protecting sensitive information online. The breach exposed over 3.2 lakh patient records on the dark web, highlighting the growing threats to digital data security.

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