A New Smartphone Malware Infects 25 Million Devices Worldwide

A New Smartphone Malware Infects 25 Million Devices Worldwide
A new smartphone malware that has infected 25 million
devices around the world, including 15 million in India has been recently
discovered by a team of cyber security specialists. Being dubbed as “Agent
Smith”, the malware camouflages itself as a Google-related application and then
replaces the installed applications with pernicious versions of them utilizing
known Android vulnerabilities without the users’ knowledge.
‘Agent Smith’ utilizes its access to Android devices in
order to display fake ads for financial gain, yet given its access, it can
likewise be utilized for increasingly accursed purposes.
Checkpoint research team which specializes in analysing
global cyber threats , notes that the activity of Agent Smith takes after how
other malware like CopyCat, Gooligan, and HummingBad have operated in the
recent years and each of the three campaigns have utilized infected devices to
generate fake ad revenue ‘to the tune of millions of dollars’.
‘Agent Smith’ is said to have been originated on prevalent
third-party application store 9Apps and has focused predominantly on Arabic,
Hindi, Indonesian, and Russian speakers. Majority of the malware’s victims were
reported to be from India and neighbouring nations like Bangladesh and Pakistan
yet as indicated by certain confirmations there are quite a few infected
devices in nations like Australia, UK, and USA too.


Agent Smith infection world heat map
Some of the apps that have been utilized to infect devices
by means of 9Apps store are Color Phone Flash – Call Screen Theme, Photo
Projector, Rabbit Temple, and Kiss Game: Touch Her Heart, and Girl Cloth XRay
Scan Simulator.
What’s more is that, after the inceptive attack vector by
means of 9Apps, the makers of Agent Smith shifted their focus towards Google
Play Store and had the option to push at least 11 malware laden app in the
Android apps infected with Agent Smith in Google Play Store and 9Apps
While Google has removed all the apps from Google Play,
users are cautioned against having any of these applications installed as they
will be no doubt infected by the Agent Smith malware. Check Point Research adds
further, saying that the Android users should only utilize trusted application
stores to download applications as “third party app stores often lack the
security measures required to block adware loaded apps.”

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