A recent scoop by Reuters revealed that mobile apps for the U.S. Army and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were integrating software that sends visitor data to a Russian company called Pushwoosh, which claims to be based in the United States. But that story omitted an important historical detail about Pushwoosh: In 2013, one of its developers admitted to authoring the Pincer Trojan, malware designed to surreptitiously intercept and forward text messages from Android mobile devices.
Stories in this blog’s Breadcrumbs series have sought to comb through clues that point to the possible location and identities of malware authors and purveyors. But from time to time those clues lead definitively back to an individual. In today’s post, we’ll look at the author of the Pincer Trojan for Android — a 32-year-old programmer at a mobile app development firm in Russia.