Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point on Wednesday disclosed that ‘Agent Smith,” a new variant of mobile malware, has quietly infected around twenty-five million android devices globally, together with fifteen million mobile devices in India out of total 375 million total Android users in India. Making this as more than 4% of Indian Android phones have been affected by this.
If you are unsure if your phone is affected, we suggest you use anti-virus software and scan your phone. If you have never installed an app from outside of the Play Store then you are probably fine.
Disguised as a Google-related app, the malware exploits noted mechanical man vulnerabilities and mechanically replaces put in apps with malicious versions while not the users’ data or interaction, said Check Point analysis, the threat intelligence arm of Israel-based Check Point.
Primarily, Agent Smith has infected devices in India, that accounts for a few fifteen million infections. this can be for the most part because of a third-party app store known as ‘9Apps’ that’s popular within the country. Attackers hid the malware in exposure utility apps, games or sex-related apps that “barely operate,” according to Check Point. If a user downloaded one among those apps, Agent Smith would disguise itself as a Google-related app with a reputation like ‘Google Updater,’ then begin replacement the code in different apps.
For instance, with all granted permissions from the originally put in apps, the Agent Smith malware might probably attack android users’ several banking apps, shopping apps, and different security-related sensitive apps furthermore. With this new malware, the user might maybe not acknowledge whether or not the app that he/she is using is affected or not because it is supposedly hidden below the initial app code.
So far, the first victim’s area unit based mostly in India through different Asian countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh has additionally been compact. There has additionally been an evident variety of infected devices within the United Kingdom, Australia, and also the USA also. Check Point has worked closely with Google and at the time of business, no malicious apps stay on the Play Store, aforementioned the company.
“Combining advanced threat interference and threat intelligence whereas adopting a ‘hygiene first’ approach to safeguard digital assets is that the best protection against invasive mobile malware attacks like ‘Agent Smith,'” aforementioned the report. additionally, users ought to solely be downloading apps from sure app stores to mitigate the danger of infection as third-party app stores typically lack the protection measures needed to block adware loaded apps.