Smartphone malware is something that we imagine will never go away, and all we can do is just be smart about how we use our phones and manage our downloads. Unfortunately, it seems that a recent report has revealed that about 25 million Android phones might have been infected with a malware known as “Agent Smith”.
According to cybersecurity researchers at Check Point, this is a particularly interesting malware because what it does is that it can replace the apps on your smartphone with “evil” versions of the app, which will serve up ads which sends money back to the hackers, which means that in a way, you’re kind of helping to fund their activities.
The malware is said to disguise itself as a Google-related update, and it also has the ability to hide its own app icons which means that users will have no idea what’s going on, where it then can be used to replace legitimate apps on your phone with its own version without the user’s knowledge.
So far, some of the big-name apps that have been affected by this include WhatsApp, Opera Mini, Flipkart, as well as software from Lenovo and SwiftKey. The majority of the infected devices, about 15 million, seem to be in India, although an estimated 300,000 devices are based in the US.
So far the malware seems to be about serving up unwanted ads, but according to Check Point, they believe that it could be potentially used for more malicious purposes, such as credit card theft. Both Google and law enforcement agencies have since been notified of the issue.
Source: Check Point