Security experts at ESET have uncovered a number of Android applications capable of taking over your device to secretly record audio and perform other malicious activities. Users are strongly advised to remove these apps immediately.

This discovery stems from a cyber espionage effort that Google Play used to distribute six of these malicious apps, while the remaining six were distributed through alternative means, leading to their installation.

The scheme works under the guise of romantic enticements, with perpetrators initially getting in touch with potential victims through platforms such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. They then persuade people to download another messaging app, which is divided into three categories.


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Apps of the first category, which are equipped with standard messaging features, request personal contact details of users, such as phone numbers. Regardless of the success in creating an account, the VajraSpy Trojan embedded in them works secretly to steal contacts, text messages, call logs, device location data, installed apps, and certain file types.

The second category includes apps that use device accessibility features to capture communications on WhatsApp and Signal, which allows for listening to conversations and intercepting notifications. Notably, one app, Wave Chat, escalates the invasion of privacy by recording calls, keystrokes, and ambient sounds through the smartphone’s microphone.

The third category, represented only by an app pretending to be a news source, nevertheless requires a phone number for access and is able to intercept contacts and certain documents.

Here are the identified apps:

    1. Rafaqat

    2. Private Talk

    3. MeetMe

    4. Let’s Chat

    5. Quick Chat

    6. Chit Cat

    7. YohooTalk

    8. TikTok

    9. Hello Cha

    10. Nidus

    11. GlowChat

    12. Wave Chat

The first six, once listed on the Play Store, have been downloaded over 1,400 times but have now been removed. If you find any of these apps on your device, it’s crucial to uninstall them immediately. In addition, caution should be exercised when prompting to download apps or click on unknown links.

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