Infectious malware, known as “Agent Smith” actually replaced genuine code in Android apps on over 25 million mobile devices…
A new threat to the basic experience of mobile devices has been discovered by security firm Check Point.
‘Agent Smith’ Malware Took Over Android Apps’ Code on 25 Million Devices
Check Point named the malware “Agent Smith” because of its ability to attack devices and remain undetected.
The malware’s actions differ from most. Instead of stealing user data, Agent Smith hacks installed apps, forcing the programs to display more ads. Or, the malware takes credit for otherwise normal, legitimate ads. Each method allows the hackers to profit off fraudulent activity.
Agent Smith, once on a device, automatically scans for familiar programs, such as WhatsApp, Opera Mini, or Flipkart. It then replaces the original code, in-part, with its own and prevents updates from being installed.
The malware primarily infected devices in India and neighboring countries. However, it’s not limited to this region of the world. While it did infect 15 million devices in India, Check Point reveals it also hit more than 300,000 devices in the United States.
The creator(s) of the malware likewise attempted to sneak the malicious code into at least 11 other apps in the Google Play Store.
Check Point believes the malware comes from a Chinese company. The security firm writes of the code, “This application was as malicious as they come.”