Researchers dealing with security on phones have announced that there is a new Android malware, which is disguised as a “critical system update” and can take complete control over the user’s device and steal their data.
Malicious software was found in an application called “System Update”, which needs to be installed outside of Google Play, the Android application store. Once the user installs it, the application hides and secretly sends data from the victim’s device to hackers.
The mobile protection company Zimperium, which discovered the malicious application, said that after the victim installs the malicious application, the phone can be controlled remotely.
Spyware can steal messages, contacts, browser bookmarks and search history, record microphone calls and ambient sound, and take photos with the phone’s cameras. Malicious software also tracks the victim’s location, searches for document files and retrieves copied data from the device’s cache.
This application also cleverly hides, but also tries to avoid capture by sending parts of photos from the phone instead of whole photos, and thus does not consume a large amount of data.
Zimperium CEO Shridhar Mittal said it was probably part of a targeted attack.
“It’s the most sophisticated thing we’ve seen,” Mittal said, adding that he thinks a lot of time and effort has been spent on creating this app. “We believe there are other apps like this and we’re trying to find them as soon as possible,” he says. .
Since the researchers confirmed that the virus was installed outside of the Google Play store, it is suggested that users check well before installing anything that is not in verified places like official app stores, noting that it is best to keep apps that are not in safe places they do not install at all.