Smartphone malware is something that we imagine will never go
away, and all we can do is just be smart about how we use our
phones and manage our downloads. Unfortunately, it seems that a
recent report has revealed that about 25 million Android phones
might have been infected with a malware known as “Agent
According to cybersecurity researchers at Check Point, this is a
particularly interesting malware because what it does is that it
can replace the apps on your smartphone with “evil” versions of
the app, which will serve up ads which sends money back to the
hackers, which means that in a way, you’re kind of helping to
fund their activities.
The malware is said to disguise itself as a Google-related
update, and it also has the ability to hide its own app icons which
means that users will have no idea what’s going on, where it then
can be used to replace legitimate apps on your phone with its own
version without the user’s knowledge.
So far, some of the big-name apps that have been affected by
this include WhatsApp, Opera Mini, Flipkart, as well as software
from Lenovo and SwiftKey. The majority of the infected devices,
about 15 million, seem to be in India, although an estimated
300,000 devices are based in the US.
So far the malware seems to be about serving up unwanted ads,
but according to Check Point, they believe that it could be
potentially used for more malicious purposes, such as credit card
theft. Both Google and law enforcement agencies have since been
notified of the issue.