The security company Check Point warns of a new Android virus: “Agent Smith” is to exploit vulnerabilities in popular apps like WhatsApp to secretly replace them with fraud software. We’ll explain what you need to know right now.
The good news first: users in Germany are not affected so far. The Android virus has spread mainly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The security company Check Point found infected smartphones but also in the UK, Australia and the US. So there is a real danger that “Agent Smith” will come to us as well.
Currently around 25 million devices are affected – apparently without the users knowing anything about it.
“Agent Smith” was also found in the Google Play Store
According to Check Point, a Chinese technology company from Guangzhou City is behind the malicious software. It is intended to camouflage itself as a normal Google app and appear above all in third-party app stores such as 9Apps from the Chinese provider Alibaba.
In the official Google Play Store, the virus was initially not found. The websiteZdnethowever, writes that according to Check Point, apps have also appeared there “that are infected with components that allow the use of the malware.”
Eleven of such apps have already been identified in the Google Play Store, but have already been deleted.
This is how the Android virus works
“Agent Smith” can masquerade as a free game, porn app or handy tool.
Once the virus is installed, it scans the affected device for popular apps like WhatsApp. He makes use of vulnerabilities and security holes.
The software then attacks the selected applications and replaces them with malicious copies. The infected apps then lure users into cost traps by advertising. According to Check Point, “Agent Smith” can even access personal information and bank details.
“Agent Smith” has to overcome a big hurdle
Of course that sounds anything but nice. But the Android virus must first come to the smartphone to get down to work. If you basically just play around in the official Google Play Store and download verified apps, you should be sure for now.
And that hurdle “Agent Smith” can not overcome by itself.
We can learn that from the Android virus
According to current information, we remain spared in Germany so first of the malicious software. One thing we can learn from the case of “Agent Smith” though.
When we hang around in third-party stores and download unofficial apps, we run the risk of catching a virus. Then we do not need to complain too much about security gaps.
The best way to protect ourselves is to rely on official applications and sources. Then we are on the safe side.
- WhatsApp Hack! Without update spy software comes unnoticed by phone
- How to prevent strangers from reading your WhatsApp messages
- This data was saved by WhatsApp about me and my friends
- 25 tips and tricks around WhatsApp
Your job market in the digital world
We do what we love every day. You can do that too! Over 20,000 dream jobs in the IT and digital world are just waiting for you in the BASIC thinking job market. Just take a look and discover!
Also interesting for you
About the author
Vivien Stellmach has been an editor at BASIC thinking since May 2019. As a freelance writer she also writes about alternative music for the VISIONS magazine. She loves football, has been on the pitch since the age of seven and is with SV Werder Bremen.