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Android malware Agent Smith infects and replaces apps

Jul 12, 2019, 2:15 pm

Agent Smith is a household name for many who enjoyed Matrix over 20 years ago. Today it becomes relevant because that’s the name of a new Android malware that behaves in a similar way as the character played by Hugo Weaving.

According to the security company Check Point, Agent Smith has infected around 25 million Android devices. The malware is disguised as a Google-related application and replaces other applications installed with malicious versions that have their own code.

Check Point researchers indicate that Agent Smith exploits the Android vulnerability known as Janus, which allows injecting malware into mobile applications by skipping a verification process that compares the previous signature with the new one, all this silently without the user can realize.

The program uses its access to device resources to display fraudulent advertisements in order to make a profit, but “it could also be easily used for much more intrusive and damaging purposes, such as theft of bank credentials and clandestine wiretapping “, warns the company. it’s a statement.

One of the characteristics of this malware is that it shows fraudulent advertisements that could lead to the theft of data from the owner of the mobile, such as personal and banking information. The fact of attacking and replacing the installed applications makes complex the task of the user can fight on their own, so one of the ways to defend against a possible infection is not to install applications from sources that are unreliable.

Agent Smith has affected more than 25 million users, mainly in India, where it counts 15 million devices. The malware has spread to other countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, although cases have also been reported in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The presence of Agent Smith is not new, in fact, it has been registered since the beginning of 2016 when it appeared in 9Apps, one of the most popular application download channels in Asia. The malware has remained current during all this time, even infecting some applications of the Play Store.

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