Predator spyware is a smartphone surveillance threat sold commercially and targeting high-value targets1. It is an iOS and Android malware that exploits zero-day security flaws to gain access to devices1. Predator spyware is a surveillance tool allegedly used by governments around the world1. It can capture text messages, calls, emails, photos, and a person’s location after taking control of a device12.Predator spyware is a phone hacking software believed to be developed by Cytrox, based in Skopje, North Macedonia23. Its buyers allegedly include nation-state actors in Egypt, Armenia, Greece, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Serbia, Spain, and Indonesia1. By exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities, malicious actors could install Predator on their target’s phones. It’s executed by sending a link via email or text, directing the target to a domain that downloads malware2.The threat analysis group Citizen Lab has provided many insights into Predator spyware. From these findings, we can understand how Predator spyware works14. Predator is the spearhead module of the spyware, arriving on the device as an ELF file and setting up a Python runtime environment to facilitate the various espionage functionalities4. It also enumerates the victim’s contact list and lists private files in the user’s media folders, including audio, images, and video4. The spyware also uses certificate poisoning to hide itself from detection and add root2.Predator capabilitiesPredator is a commercial spyware for mobile platforms (iOS and Android) developed and sold by Israeli company Intellexa4. The spyware family has been linked to surveillance operations targeting journalists, high-profile European politicians, and even Meta executives4. Predator is the spearhead module of the spyware, arriving on the device as an ELF file and setting up a Python runtime environment to facilitate the various espionage functionalities4. It also enumerates the victim’s contact list and lists private files in the user’s media folders, including audio, images, and video4. The spyware also uses certificate poisoning to hide itself from detection and add root4.Predator can access every message, call, photo, and password and has the ability to hide apps it doesn’t want you to find2. It can add a certificate authority (CA) to your phone, tricking your device into trusting2. The spyware can capture text messages, calls, emails, photos, and other sensitive data from infected devices1. It is used against high-value targets, and the number of targets is usually in the tens of users3.How to detect Predator spyware?To detect if your device is infected with Predator spyware, you can use antivirus software or follow the instructions provided by security experts25. It is important to keep your device and apps up to date to prevent vulnerabilities that can be exploited by spyware like Predator3.How to remove Predator spyware?If you suspect that your device is infected with Predator spyware, you should remove it immediately. You can remove Predator spyware from your device by following the instructions provided by security experts5.ConclusionPredator spyware is a surveillance tool that is allegedly used by governments around the world. It is a smartphone surveillance threat sold commercially and targeting high-value targets. Predator spyware can capture text messages, calls, emails, photos, and a person’s location after taking control of a device. It is used against high-value targets, and the number of targets is usually in the tens of users. To detect if your device is infected with Predator spyware, you can use antivirus software or follow the instructions provided by security experts. If you suspect that your device is infected with Predator spyware, you should remove it immediately.

Sources:

  1. What is Predator spyware? Threat to mobile devices – Atlas VPN (https://atlasvpn.com/blog/what-is-predator-spyware-threat-to-mobile-devices)
  2. What is Predator spyware, and how to check if your device is infected – ExpressVPN (https://www.expressvpn.com/blog/how-to-detect-predator-spyware/)
  3. Predator Spyware (Android) – Malware removal instructions (updated) – PCrisk (https://www.pcrisk.com/removal-guides/26432-predator-spyware-android)
  4. Predator: Looking under the hood of Intellexa’s Android spyware – Bleeping Computer (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/predator-looking-under-the-hood-of-intellexas-android-spyware/)
  5. Dangerous Predator spyware hits Android phones — what to do – Tom’s Guide (https://www.tomsguide.com/news/this-dangerous-android-malware-spies-on-your-every-move-what-to-do)

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