Malware Dubbed “Agent Smith” Has Infected Over 25 Million Android Devices While Users are Still Unaware
A malware called Agent Smith has lately infected around 25 million android devices with users being utterly unaware of it, Check Point Research, an international research team to look after cyber intelligence reports with its network spread across the world claims with sufficient evidence that it found during their new discovery published last week on their website.
According to the research network, the malware has primarily targeted the population living in India, and an estimate discloses that almost fifteen million android users, that is to say, 60% of the actual numbers of sufferers, have been victimized by this malicious software so far. The malware was also first underlined earlier in the year by users in India when the team of Check Point Research had been notified for the attacks of malware against users in the country.
However, other Asian countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh have also been affected by it. It principally targeted people speaking Hindi, Arabic, Russian, and Indonesian languages. The research team of Check Point also discovered lots of devices in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Australia being infected by this malware. It was basically downloaded from the third-party app store called 9Apps. Because it is known widely in the region, therefore most people affected by it belong to the countries in Asia.
The malware uses its access with fake ads for financial gains, the press release asserts, cautioning users in the region. It targets some of the widely held apps such as WhatsApp and Opera to attack devices and users and conveniently intrudes on their privacy.
The malware disguises itself as a Google related application, leaving users in woes as their data is left at stake without their knowledge. It replaces already installed apps with their malicious versions without users’ mindfulness, as it attacks devices silently.
“It could easily be used for far more obscure purposes such as banking credentials theft,” the press release by Checkpoint threatens. Due to its ability to be able to work secretively, it is being suspected that its endless possibilities can cause big damages to users’ devices and important data and information that is saved in their devices.
According to the press release, Agent Smith’s activity resembles earlier fraudulent campaigns such as Gooligan, HummingBad, and CopyCat. However, their access was possible in the underdeveloped countries, but this malware has successfully been able to affect highly developed countries including the USA, where almost three hundred thousand users have been infected by this malware.
“Today this malware shows ads, tomorrow it could steal sensitive information; from private messages to banking credentials and much more,” says an advisory from Check Point Research.
The publication keeps some of the information unexposed and unavailable, as to counter this malicious software, Check Point has submitted the records that it found to Google and law enforcement units to look into the matter and investigate it.
Check Point research warns that the users should not use third-party app stores to download apps, as it puts them at high risk. Instead of it, they should only rely on official and trusted app stores.