Read the full article by Michael French at AVN.com

Canadian cybersecurity experts find Russian spyware in several counterfeit Android apps.

A new, highly sophisticated spyware application known as Monokle—that can steal valuable data such as internet and phone passwords without even being hooked up to an internet connection—has been discovered hidden inside a counterfeit Pornhub app, as well as other phony apps including Google Play and the note-taking app EverNote, according to a report by Forbes.com.

But Monokle, which so far is found only on Android phones and mobile devices, has something else that makes it especially sinister. The spyware is created by a company that goes by the harmless-sounding name Special Technology Center. But in reality, the firm is a Russian defense contractor with ties to Russia’s military intelligence agency the GRU so close that STC was hit with economic sanctions by the Obama administration for its role in the 2016 Russian cyber attack on the presidential election—an attack carried out by the GRU, known in English as the Main Intelligence Directorate.

Researchers at the Canadian cybersecurity firm Lookout released a research report Wednesday detailing the alarming capabilities of the Monokle spyware. In addition to the ability to sniff out passwords from locked phones, and surreptitiously watch and record any activity on a targeted phone’s screen, Monokle can even get a sense of a target’s unique interests by accessing predictive text dictionaries—the built-in software in most devices that continually suggests words and phrases as a user types into a text message or app.