Agent Smith, a new Android malware, was discovered by Check Point Research, which is a cybersecurity solutions provider. The new malware automatically replaces some portions of apps code with its own.
Check Point dubs the malware as ‘Agent Smith’, a fictional character from The Matrix Franchise due to the methods it used to infect a device and avoid detection.
Agent Smith malware is specially developed to hack apps and display more ads to make a profit with fraudulent views. As per Check Point the malware spies on the apps on devices like Opera Mini, WhatsApp, or Flipkart by avoiding them to get updated and replace pieces of their code in the android apps.
The malicious malware ‘Agent Smith’ primarily infected 25 million Android devices in India and other surrounding countries. The prime reason to select India is because of the extensive usage of a third-party app store called 9Apps, which is popular.
The harmful software code can hide in hardly functioning photo utility, games, and other android applications. It could easily use for further more prying in banking credential thefts and eavesdropping, Check Point writes.
The malicious malware will disguise as a Google-based app like “Google Updater” and begins the process of replacing its code when once a user downloads it.
Check Point released a statement,
“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.”
As per the Check Point, the malware targets Arabic, Russia, Hindi, Indonesian users.
In the US, nearly 300,000 devices were infected, and Agent Smith is trying to stretch more into the Google Play Store. It is hiding in 11 apps so far that consists of code relate to a simple version of the malware.
Jonathan Shimonovich, Head of Mobile Threat Detection, Check Point Software adds that,
“The malware attacks user-installed applications silently, making it challenging for common Android users to combat such threats on their own.”
Google has removed all the identified malicious apps and put them in an inactive state. Check Point also warns about the main vulnerability point that Agent Smith might patch in several years ago in Android. It also suggests that app developers need to update their apps to avoid these harmful codes. But with the damage seems like many of them have not.
Check Points states that “This application was as malicious as they come.” Researchers report the malware Agent Smith might be developed by a Chinese company to help developers promote their applications globally.
Check Point Software technologies resembles it to the previous dangerous malware like Hummingbad, CopyCat, and Gooligan.