( CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, has discovered a new variant of mobile malware that has quietly infected around 25 million devices, including 15 million mobile devices in India. The malware operates by replacing portions of apps with its own malicious code.
Check Point believes an unnamed Chinese company based in Guangzhou has been building the malware, whilst operating a business that helps Chinese Android developers promote their apps on overseas platforms. India, however, had more than 15 million infected devices and over 2 billion infection events - the highest in the world.
Apps that were modified include WhatsApp, Opera Mini, Flipkart, as well as software from Lenovo and Swiftkey. This app saved the Global Positioning System coordinates of photos without the user's permission to send them to their own servers. Typically, 3rd-party app stores are mostly used in developing countries, which is why such attacks often only target users from those countries.
The virus, named "Agent Smith" after a fictional character from the, "The Matrix" who is able to make others into copies of himself, was highlighted by the security firm Check Point on Wednesday and affects users on Android devices.
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Archer and Woakes also excelled, taking two for 32 and three for 20, while Rashid bagged three scalps in his best display to date. While cricketers are susceptible to criticism from pundits and fans alike there's no denying that they don't get affected by it.
More than 1,000 Android apps skirt or ignore the limited permissions that they have been granted and instead gather location data and other information in direct contravention of users' express wishes, according to a Cnet report.
The Israeli security company also found that while the malware was primarily focused on users in India, it has made its way onto 25 million devices - including Android phones in the USA and the UK.
The dropper app automatically installs a malware app - essentially an Android package (.APK) file - whose icon remains hidden from the home screen launcher. Typically, such non-Google Play attacks focus on developing countries, making the hackers' success in the US and the United Kingdom more remarkable, Check Point said. Google, however, has now removed all of the discovered malicious apps.
For instance, security updates announced in Apple's newest iOS 13 will notify users how an app is tracking them, including their location.