There is a new malicious malware threat in town and its called Agent Smith.
Remember the movie Matrix and how there was this one agent called Smith? Agent Smith possessed some superhuman strength, super speed, and stamina. But that’s not all that Agent Smith possessed, the most dangerous thing about Mr. Smith was that he also possessed a secret power; it was the power to replicate himself by infecting other hosts in the Matrix system and replace them with his own kind.
Keeping the exact principle in mind, some cyber threat junkies have designed a similar app known as Agent Smith malware. Smith malware replaces legitimate installed apps like (Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook) with a malicious version of the app. Detailed research performed by the researchers at Check Point Research has found out that Smith infects the system to such an extent that it overheats and physically damage your Android smartphone.
According to Check Point blog, “Agent Smith” has infected more than 25 million devices.
Actually, the malware doesn’t steal any information from your smartphone. Instead, it just replicates legitimate installed apps such as WhatsApp with the malicious version.
About Agent Smith Malware
On one of the occasions, Check Point warned:
“Disguised as a Google-related app, the core part of malware exploits various known Android vulnerabilities and automatically replaces installed apps on the device with malicious versions without the user’s interaction,”
Basically, ‘Agent Smith’ uses its “broad access to the device’s resources to show fraudulent ads for financial gain.” According to Checkpoint, the malware is currently targeting different countries in the Asian region. To name a few, countries such as India, Pakistan & Bangladesh.
They further highlighted that the malware holds significant potential to harm a user’s device. However, for now, it is carefully designed to only perform credential thefts.
Check Point stated,
“However, it could easily be used for far more intrusive and harmful purposes such as banking credential theft, Indeed, due to its ability to hide it’s icon from the launcher and impersonates any popular existing apps on a device, there are endless possibilities for this sort of malware to harm a user’s device.”
Researchers at Check Point has warned Google and law enforcement units to assist them with their investigation. They have closely worked with Google to remove these malicious app replicas from the Play Store. And at the time of publishing their research, they made sure that Play Store contained no Smith agents infecting other platforms
Check Point said that it was warned Google and law enforcement units to facilitate further investigation. It said that it has worked closely with Google and at the time of publishing, no malicious apps remained on the Play Store.
There are multiple instances where users have found several malicious apps infecting the Google Play Store. Recent research performed by Bitdefender has revealed that there is a malware strain known as the Triout which runs massive surveillance alongside a privacy tool.
This malicious software can record information on phone calls, incoming text messages, videos, can take pictures and collect data on your location through tracking GPS coordinates. Just imagine if the controller of such software works for a federal organization or a terrorist one?
With Cyberthreat looming the horizon, it is important that businesses should be careful and protect their infrastructures at all costs. You never know when an Agent Smith drops in and say hello!