More than 15 million of the infections originate from India, but around 300,000 devices in the U.S. reportedly have the malware installed as well.
If downloaded, it replaces legitimate apps on the phone with malicious versions which display fraudulent pop-up ads to generate illicit profits for the malware authors. Apps that access WiFi will require to have permission for location data. Apart from this, malware also targets the Android device of America, Australia and the UK.More news: Critics' cruel baby gibe at Meghan
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What's even more threatening is that the malware creators managed to sneak Agent Smith into the Google Play Store apps as well.
Interestingly though, the vulnerability that let Agent Smith take over the app was actually patched several years ago in Android, however, many developers have not updated their apps to take advantage of it. Although WhatsApp was the main app infected with Agent Smith, there were others.
"Check Point Research has discovered a new variant of mobile malware that has quietly infected around 25 million devices, including 15 million mobile devices in India", it said in a statement. This malware with the same name does something like that, infecting other apps with its malicious code.
Computer Science Institute announced will be releasing details with a list of the 1,325 apps the researchers discovered during the Usenix Security conference in August 2019. No icon appears for this on the screen, making it even more surreptitious. Check Point's solutions protect customers from 5 generation cyber-attacks with an industry leading catch rate of malware, ransomware and advanced targeted threats. OneDrive, for example, already recommends Word, PowerPoint, or Excel if a user opens a related file from it and doesn't already have any one of these apps installed.
Most of the phones victimized were those that downloaded from third-party app stores. The security firm has made it clear that the company has worked closely with Google and now there is no such risky app on the Play Store. This new strain of virus at least doesn't come from Android's canonical app store but its effects are no less destructive.