Android has seen solid growth in the last decade, with over 2.5 billion monthly active users accumulated since its inception. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have continuously sought to exploit Android devices, with a new malware targeting 25 million Android users recently.
Named Agent Smith, this malware sneaks onto a user’s device when the user downloads a malicious app from the app store, i.e. a photo utility or game app.
The malicious app then silently installs the malware disguised as an official Google updating utility. However, no updating icon is seen on the display screen, making the user oblivious to their device being at risk.
Once installed, the malware replaces official apps on the user’s device, such as WhatsApp, with an update which serves click fraud ads. According to security researchers, the ads themselves aren’t malicious.
But if a victim by chance clicks on the advert, the hackers can generate income from these ad fraud schemes. In addition, there’s potential that these dangerous ads aren’t restricted to only WhatsApp and could possibly be discovered on different platforms too.
So, what can Android users do to stop this malware from sneaking onto their device? Check out the following suggestions to help stay secure:
Look out for WhatsApp ads.
Android users should take action in the event that they experience ads displayed at unusual occasions, such as after they open WhatsApp. The official WhatsApp does not serve ads, so for those who experience ads on this platform your device may have been infected.
Stay away from suspicious apps.
Check and review the apps and notifications settings. If you see suspicious apps with names similar to Google Updater, Google Installer for U, Google Powers, and Google Installer, uninstall these apps immediately.
Avoid unauthorised Android stores.
Google has additional precautions designed to stop malware from getting onto the official Android store website, so solely downloading apps from there might help shield you.
Install a strong security solution.
A Mobile Security Solution may help Android customers stay shielded from threats like mobile malware. It additionally gives a free antivirus cleaner and phone security app to guard your online privacy and improve device performance.