A Russian military contractor tied to 2016 U.S. election interference is behind a spate of mobile phone surveillance programs, researchers at Lookout mobile security have determined.

Driving the news: The mobile spyware, dubbed Monokle, was disguised as several different Android apps — ranging from pornography to Google. Monokle may have been in use since 2015.

The targets: Some of the fake apps were intended for highly specialized audiences, which may give a sense of some of the intended targets.

  • A fake version of “UzbekChat” appears to be intended for people in or communicating with Uzbekistan.
  • A fake program called "Ahrar Maps" appears to be targeted at the Ahrar al-Sham militant group in Syria.
  • A fake app titled "Caucas" appears to target the Caucasus region.

The attacker: Lookout says Monokle uses the same private internet infrastructure as an antivirus product developed by Special Technology Centre, Ltd. (STC), a Russian military contractor sanctioned by the Obama administration for its role in 2016 election tampering.

  • Two developers' names and the name "Monokle" are referenced in the code for Monokle.
  • There is evidence that an iOS version is being developed.

Unique features: Monokle is able to change security certificates on cellphones, giving STC the ability to alter data being sent to and from the phone.

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Trump pushes to expand ban against anti-racism training to federal contractors

Trump speaking at Moon Township, Penns., on Sept. 22. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced late Tuesday that the White House attempt to halt federal agencies' anti-racism training would be expanded to block federal contractors from "promoting radical ideologies that divide Americans by race or sex."

Why it matters: The executive order appears to give the government the ability to cancel contracts if anti-racist or diversity trainings focused on sexual identity or gender are organized. The memo applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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By the numbers: GoodRx priced its shares at $33 a piece, above its $24-$28 per share offering range, which will give it an initial market cap of around $12.7 billion.

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