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In a shocking development, a Google app was found by cybersecurity researchers on smartphones that was a big threat for users. The threat is immediate and you should check and ban this Google app from your phone as soon as possible. The reason to ban this Google app from phone is because it carries malicious software or malware on it that was infecting users’ phones. Notably, since last year, security researchers have noticed a steep surge in the cases of Android banking malware that pose a threat to users’ bank details, and ultimately, money. One of the relatively new members to the ‘malware family’ is SharkBot app. This SharkBot app was found on Google Play Store and people were downloading it without knowing that it was infected with this dangerous malware. It was about October 2021, when security researchers at Cleafy discovered this malicious remote access banking trojan – SharkBot. But, more recently, NCC Group’s Threat Intelligence team explained how this malware can impact users. And it’s really scary!
The security research group explained that the main goal of SharkBot is what makes it extremely dangerous. It initiates money transfers by using Automatic Transfer Systems (ATS). The apps that are found loaded with the malware SharkBot are three layers of toxicity for your phone. One layer works as a masking antivirus while the second layer is a version of SharkBot. And then the final wave comes in the form of updates – through which users end up downloading the full version of the SharkBot malware on their phones. After this, the malware goes into action! While using several tactics, it ends up emptying the victim’s bank accounts.
The concerning part of SharkBot which makes it different from other such malware is that it uses ATS, which makes it able to bypass multi-factor authentication, and moreover, it uses more traditional methods to steal users’ banking credentials. The security firm explained that it can perform an “overlay attack” whenever it detects any active banking app. And it just pushes up a screen that looks more or less like a bank making you feed your login credentials. Moreover, SharkBot has the ability to even hide SMS messages and take full control of an Android device.
Thankfully, the SharkBot enabled application hasn’t spread to the large group as it has up to 1000 downloads till now. You should take action nevertheless.
Check if this app is on your phone. If it is there, delete it immediately.
To be safe, you will need to look for this fake “Antivirus, Super Cleaner” app and if you have downloaded it from Google Play Store, uninstall.
The best way will be to clear the cache folder of the app from your smartphone as well, as you won’t be able to see the effect of hidden malware in your phone.
To make sure you don’t face this issue again, do not download any app even from Google Play Store without verifying it thoroughly. While Google Play Store does its own verification, these dangerous apps still manage to sneak into it. So, beware!
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