Careless App Installation Can Lead to the Invasion of Monokle

Monokle is the name you need to remember because it belongs to one of the most vicious Android apps out there. This malicious threat can use trojanized apps to slither into your device, and then it can manipulate it, steal information, and use various spying techniques. The victims of this malware are not safe because the attackers – and whoever gets access to the retrieved information – can know the physical location of the victim, can know where they are planning to be at specific times, and can spy on them using audio and video input. Basically, whoever has this malware on their device can become a victim of a serious attack, and even their physical security could be jeopardized. Due to the history of the infection and the complex spying abilities, it is believed that this malware was built to target very specific victims. Unfortunately, whatever the case might be, deleting Monokle might not be an easy option.

How does Monokle spread?

Have you ever tried to download an app and found a bunch of similar apps with a similar name and a similar logo? In most cases, these apps are harmless, and are simply exploiting the name/logo of a popular app to gain more users. Unfortunately, this is how malware can slip into the devices of careless Android users as well. According to the report by Lookout, Monokle has used the logos and names of Google, Google Play, Pornhub, Skype, Signal, Wickr, DiskDigger, and many other apps to lure in victims. Although these apps might be set up in a highly misleading manner, you might be able to tell that they are fictitious by looking at the reviews, download counts, descriptions, version numbers, and other provided details. Of course, if the attackers come prepared, you might be tricked into downloading malware even if you are careful. Needless to say, the source of the app matters as well. If the installer pops up after clicking a random link on your social media, or if you land on an unfamiliar app store, your chances of downloading malware are much higher.

What does Monokle do?

The clandestine Monokle is a multi-faceted infection, and it is capable of causing all kinds of issues. The researchers at Lookout inform that this infection acts as a keylogger, and it can record key taps and capture screenshots silently to record login information and spy on the users. Ultimately, Monokle is spyware, and its main task is to spy on the victim and relay all possible information to the attackers. Unfortunately, this malware can relay all sorts of sensitive data. For example, it can record videos, take photos, and even use audio input to know exactly what the victim looks like, what they are saying, and who they are talking with. Calls and text messages can be recorded too, and the threat can also make calls. It can delete files, reset the PIN code, reboot the device, record contacts and information available in the calendar app, record Wi-Fi data, track location, and, of course, steal passwords.

It is known that Monokle can access Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, imo, Viber, Skype, WeChat, VK, Line, and Snapchat. This could be used as a surveillance measure, but once the attackers take over victim’s accounts, it is possible that they can spread malware further. In general, Monokle can be used to expose a great deal of information about the device’s owner, and that can put them at serious risk. Not just virtually, but physically too. Since the dawn of the infection – and 2015 is believed to be the year that this malware was created – it has been used in the attacks against people in Eastern Europe, Uzbekistan, Syria, and Islamic states. At the moment, the Russian-based, privately-owned STC (Special Technology Center) is believed to be behind Monokle. However, there is not enough information to back this up completely. Until the attack is exposed, the attacks are likely to continue.

In conclusion, to ensure that malware cannot spy on you via your Android device, you need to make sure that you are cautious about the apps you download, and if you suspect that your device has been infected already, it is imperative that you take it to an expert technician who, hopefully, will be able to remove Monokle.


Lookout. July 2019. Monokle: The Mobile Surveillance Tooling of the Special Technology Center. Lookout. 100% FREE spyware scan and
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