Beware of ‘Agent Smith’, a new malware that has infected 15 million devices in India
Electronics & Gadgets  
Hindustan Times

Disguised as a Google-related app, ‘Agent Smith’ malware exploits known Android vulnerabilities and automatically replaces installed apps with malicious versions without the users’ knowledge or interaction

 

Cyber security solutions provider Check Point on Wednesday revealed that ‘Agent Smith,” a new variant of mobile malware, has quietly infected around 25 million Android devices globally, including 15 million mobile devices in India.
 
Disguised as a Google-related app, the malware exploits known Android vulnerabilities and automatically replaces installed apps with malicious versions without the users’ knowledge or interaction, said Check Point Research, the threat intelligence arm of Israel-based Check Point.
 
The malware currently uses its broad access to the devices’ resources to show fraudulent ads for financial gain, but could easily be used for far more intrusive and harmful purposes such as banking credential theft and eavesdropping.
 
This activity resembles previous malware campaigns such as “Gooligan”, “Hummingbad” and “CopyCat”.
 
“The malware attacks user-installed applications silently, making it challenging for common Android users to combat such threats on their own,” said Jonathan Shimonovich, Head of Mobile Threat Detection Research at Check Point.
 
“Agent Smith” was originally downloaded from the widely used third-party app store, 9Apps and targeted mostly Hindi, Arabic, Russian and Indonesian-speaking users.
 
 

 

So far, the primary victims are based in India though other Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh have also been impacted. There has also been a noticeable number of infected devices in the UK, Australia and the US as well.
 
Check Point has worked closely with Google and at the time of publishing, no malicious apps remain on the Play Store, said the company.
 
“Combining advanced threat prevention and threat intelligence while adopting a ‘hygiene first’ approach to safeguard digital assets is the best protection against invasive mobile malware attacks like ‘Agent Smith,’“ said the report.
 
In addition, users should only be downloading apps from trusted app stores to mitigate the risk of infection as third party app stores often lack the security measures required to block adware loaded apps.

 
 


 
 


 
More in Electronics & Gadgets
Dual screen nubia Z20 now available globally

Unveiled back in August and on sale in China since then, the nubia Z20 is now officially available for purchase internationally. The dual-screen flagship can now be...

Recently posted . 9 views

India’s cheapest electric car launched! Tigor EV with 213 km range pri...

The previous iteration of the Tata Tigor Electric offered a range of just 142 km on a single charge. The new version, in addition to the fleet operators, will als...

Recently posted . 20 views

Instagram Will Remove the Following Activity Tab on Instagram.

Instagram's head Adam Mosseri confirmed in a tweet today that the 'Following' activity tab was being removed from the app.

Recently posted . 17 views

Essential founder Andy Rubin shows tall and narrow upcoming phone with...

One of the key features of the Android world has always been crazy experimentation with form factors. For a while not so long ago that seemed to have waned somewhat...

Recently posted . 20 views

8 Legendary Rare Cars That We Are Sure Money Alone Won't Be Able To Bu...

While the modern marvels of hybrid engineering and high-octane racing performance come at their own stratospheric heights of bank balance requirements, ever true en...

Recently posted . 17 views

 
 
 

Prashnavali

Thought of the day

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Anonymous