A new kind of malware attack was discovered by researchers from Check Point recently and they have given it a name called ‘Agent Smith’. Researchers from the Israel based Cybersecurity firm say that the attack allows hackers to replace legitimate apps with the fraudulent ones opening profit making doors to them.
Check Point Software Technologies says that the malware-filled apps were downloaded on more than 25 million devices operating across US, UK, and India.
A security analyst from Check Point said that the firm named the malware as ‘Agent Smith’ as it was replicating a fictional character from the movie ‘The Matrix’ that allows the protagonist to copy himself by others.
It is not a data-stealing malware, unlike others. But the malicious software replaces genuine apps with the hackers’ versions which are infected by adware. That means, when the victim opens the app, advertisements get displayed- allowing the hackers to get scores of profits from the views.
Even popular apps like Flipkart, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Amazon were being mimicked by the hackers by replacing the code of the original program, preventing the app from getting security updated at regular intervals.
“As the malicious software has the tendency to infect apps in a silent mode, it becomes a big challenge for Android users to combat such cyber threats”, says Jonathan Shimonovich, Head of Mobile Threat Detection Research, Check Point.
Over 15 million devices from India; 300,000 from the US and the rest of the estimated numbers were from the UK, Australia, and Asia.
Note- Mainly Photo and S#@ related apps downloaded from third-party apps platform ‘9apps’ was found to be spreading the malicious codes which were later propagated somehow to Google Apps Store as well.