New Android Malware Is Stealing Your Data: Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself

A newly discovered malware infects Android smartphones and steals just about every conceivable data on them. The trail leads to Russia.

A newly discovered Android malware steals data from your Android smartphone and transmits it to hackers’ servers. This is reported by the US IT news site Bleepingcomputer based on the findings of the security company Lab52. The Android app is disguised as “Process Manager”. However, it is currently still unknown how the malware is distributed, which is available as an APK file. Social engineering is likely to trick recipients into installing the app.

Malware wants full control over Android device

But once launched, the malicious program on the Android device pretends to be a system tool and uses a gear symbol as its icon. The app asks for a variety of rights from the user, including Wi-Fi access, location, camera, internet usage, contacts, write storage rights, read and send SMS, and much more. It is currently unknown if the malware obtains all these rights by exploiting a technical vulnerability or if it asks the user to approve these rights when it starts.

But as soon as it gets these rights, it runs in the background and makes its icon disappear. Malware can, for example, transmit the location of the smartphone to hackers and write and send text messages. In addition, you have full memory access and can take photos and create audio recordings. The stolen data is sent in JSON format to a command and control server in Russia. The malware also downloads other programs on androids.

This Android malware uses the same infrastructure used by the Russian hacker group Turla to operate. However, it is not possible to say whether this malware also originated from Turla, and in this case, it even seems quite unlikely. Russian Turla hackers have attacked systems in Europe and the US in the past, primarily for espionage purposes. Turla is said to be close to the Russian state.

How to protect yourself

You should always install apps from Google Play, though malware occasionally shows up there too: Caution: This Android app steals your data: Over 100,000 downloads. Also, you should always check the rights that the application requires before installing it. Check if the rights requirements are plausible.


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