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‘Agent Smith’ malware affects 15 million Android smartphones in India: Check Point Research

This ‘Agent Smith’ malware replaces put in apps on automaton devices with malicious versions while not user’s information.Disguised as a Google-related app, ‘Agent Smith’ malware exploits known Android vulnerabilities and automatically replaces installed apps with malicious versions without the users’ knowledge or interaction

A mobile malware named ‘Agent Smith’ has infected 25 million android devices globally, including 15 million in India. This malware replaces installed apps with malicious versions without user’s knowledge, claimed Check Point Research.

“Agent Smith” was originally downloaded from the widely used third-party app store, 9Apps and targeted mostly Hindi, Arabic, Russian and Indonesian-speaking users.

So far, the primary victims are based in India though other Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh have also been impacted. There has also been a noticeable number of infected devices in the UK, Australia and the US as well.

Check Point has worked closely with Google and at the time of publishing, no malicious apps remain on the Play Store, said the company.

“The malware attacks user-installed applications silently, making it challenging for common Android users to combat such threats on their own,” said Jonathan Shimonovich. Shimonovich is the Head of Mobile Threat Detection Research at Check Point Software Technologies, said.

Users should only download apps from trusted app stores to mitigate the risk of infection. Especially since third-party app stores often lack the security measures required to block adware loaded apps.

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