Don’t install this ‘System Update’ on your Android phone – Times of India
A new Android malware that can steal your data has surfaced, as per researchers at mobile security firm Zimperium. This malware is very cleverly named ‘System Update’ and once installed on an Android smartphone, can not only monitor your online search and other activities but also steal your data. Disguised under a harmless (rather encouraging) name tag, the spyware can trick most users by passing off as an Android system update.
The researchers at Zimperium have put the spyware under the category of Remote Access Trojan (RAT). In a statement given to TechCrunch, Shridhar Mittal, Zimperium CEO, said: “It’s easily the most sophisticated we’ve seen. I think a lot of time and effort was spent on creating this app. We believe that there are other apps out there like this, and we are trying our very best to find them as soon as possible.”
RAT malware: What is at risk in your Android phone
So, what can the malware lay its hands on? Messages on instant messenger and database files, your contacts on phone and call logs, WhatsApp records, your photos, video, basically everything on your phone; even know your location and hijack your phone camera and microphone to take pictures and record audio respectively, look at your browser history etc. as per a report by Gizmodo.
As per the researchers, the Remote Access Trojans are constantly looking out for “any activity of interest, such as a phone call, to immediately record the conversation, collect the updated call log, and then upload the contents to the C&C server as an encrypted ZIP file.”
How can the malware come into your system
The app can come into your Android phone through third-party stores. To make things worse, System Update malware reportedly comes in a variety of forms and names, not just ‘System Update’, though they are mostly designed for pilfering user data by remote accessing an Android smartphone.
The researchers have pointed the malware out but are yet in the unknown about the origin and the maker of the virus and the devices it is being used to target. They have warned that they have been seeing “an increasing number of RATs on mobile devices”.
What can you do
For now, you can take the following steps to prevent this malware from hijacking your phone. However, these are just preventive measures and not a foolproof firewall solution.
Avoid downloading apps from third-party app stores if you are not sure. Also, only download updates to apps from Google Play store only. Remember all system updates are published by OEMs and can be found under the Updates section inside the Settings menu. Invest in a good antivirus app and set regular scans. It would also be good to limit your app downloads and the storage access permissions.