A new malware aptly named “Agent Smith” was recently discovered by cyber security firm Check Point to have infected around 25 million Android devices around the world. The malware was named after the major antagonist from The Matrix movies.
Just like the movie villain, the malware integrates itself on to the app by replacing some of its code. It then forces the app to show unwanted fraudulent ads, which the malware operator profits from.
According to the security firm, the malware has the potential for more criminal activities such as stealing credit information and passwords.
The malware proliferated through the third party app store 9Apps and targeted mostly users from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It has also spread to other countries like the US, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.
Check out the heat map of infection below. As you can see, the Philippines is slightly red meaning the malware is very much present in our country.
Check Point says the creator of the malware has attempted bring infected apps to the Play Store. It was found on more than 11 apps, which Google has since removed. Some of the more popular apps infected also include WhatsApp, Swiftkey, Opera Mini, and some software from Lenovo.
One of the key ways to prevent malware infection in general is to always install apps from the Google Play Store. Be cautious of side loading and installing from third party app stores.
Source: Check Point