11 Jul 2019

Agent Smith Has Taken A Hold On 15 Million Android Devices In India

Agent Smith tad sounds akin to famous Hollywood flick Matrix franchise Agent Smith, who played main antagonist in the series.

Alas! But this is not that Mr. Smith who left us gaping for MORE, but it is a MALWARE.

 “Is warning symbol reflecting in front of your eyes right now? Have I caused you discomfort or if any bell ringing in your ears?”

But sorry to say because YOU HEARD ME ALL CORRECT!

You must be getting panicked, but you have all the reasons to. We can’t deny from the fact that the very mention of malware leaves us in a juxtaposed situation. We feel that our security of data is at stake and it becomes more demonic when it happens without any prior information and in a very sophisticated quiet manner.

Yes, I am referring to a very sad episode that has taken place on our very own Android devices.

How Was It Identified???

Well, it was not diagnosed before. But as stated by Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point on Wednesday, “’Agent Smith,’ a new variant of mobile malware. It quietly infected around 25 million Android devices globally, including 15 million mobile devices in India only.

OOPS, that is alarming!

What Is Agent Smith???

As mentioned before it is Malware, which impersonates as a Google-related app, and exploits popular Android vulnerabilities and automatically replaces installed apps with malicious versions without the users’ knowledge.

But this harm is not just curbing here, rather the malware currently uses its wider access to the devices’ resources. It shows fraudulent ads for financial gain, which further could easily be used for conducive harmful purposes like banking credential theft and eavesdropping. Check Point Research, the threat intelligence arm of Israel-based Check Point.

How Does It Affect???

Well, to be précised, this malware attacks user-installed applications silently, which makes it even harder for the common Android users to identify and fight such threats on their own,” said Jonathan Shimonovich, Head of Mobile Threat Detection Research at Check Point. And is quite similar to the activity resembles previous malware campaigns such as “Gooligan”, “Hummingbad” and “CopyCat”.

Who All Are Affected???

As far as the primary victims are concerned, then sadly they are from India only. There are other Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh have also been impacted.  As the report suggests there has been a more 3 Lacs infected devices in the USA and other countries like UK, Australia and other as well have experienced 6 digits figure of infected devices.

How Did It Start???

Originally “Agent Smith” has traveled a journey from the hugely used third-party app store- 9Apps and has targeted mostly Hindi, Arabic, Russian and Indonesian-speaking users.

Any Solution There???

“Combining advanced threat prevention and threat intelligence while adopting a ‘hygiene first’ approach to safeguard digital assets is the best protection against invasive mobile malware attacks like ‘Agent Smith,'” said the report.

Also, it has been marked that Check Point has worked closely with Google. So no malicious apps remain on the Play Store, said the company.

However, for the users one factor has to be considered, and that suggests; downloading apps from the Google play store to annul down the risk of infection. This measure would help the users to play safe because all the third party app stores usually lack the security reasons to block adware loaded apps.

Well, well, well…no Malware is good for the healthy lifeline of your data, so you must stay aware of what is going on in the technology space to avoid any sort of glitch, which can transmute your smartphone into a vulnerable piece.

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