An Android malware that goes by the name – Agent Smith, affected devices that amount to almost 25 million. The malware infects the Android devices in such a way that it replaces portions of apps with its own code. The malware has been named after the method it has used to attack devices without getting detected just similar to Agent Smith in the ‘Matrix’ movies.
So far the malware isn’t known to raid user data. What it actually does is hack apps into showing more ads or in taking credits for the already shown ads. In that way, the malware operator is able to gain huge profits from fraudulent views. It is especially programmed to affect already familiar apps such as WhatsApp, Opera Mini, Flipkart, etc. by replacing codes simultaneously blocking any updates as well.
The devices from India and other nearby countries are the primarily infected ones. A third party app called 9Apps – highly popular in these regions is the main carrier of Agent Smith malware. It tactfully hides inside hardly operating photo utility, games, or sex-related apps. When downloaded, it is disguised as a Google-related app, called ‘Google Updater’, which then begins the code replacement of apps in Android devices.
Since Indian devices were the major focus of Agent Smith malware, where infected devices amounted to 15 million. Still, it also managed to sneak and infect its way inside 300,000 US devices as well. It seems to have made an attempt to broaden its reach into the Google Play Store by its operator, hiding in 11 apps with the malware’s code in a simpler format. Although it seems to have stayed inactive. Google removed all malicious apps that were discovered as a carrier of the malware.
In the past one of the major Android vulnerability relied on by Agent Smith was already patched. In order to get the full advantage of this patched protection, developers are urged to update their apps. Unfortunately, many have failed to do so.
As per research data, the Malware seems to be run by some Chinese company which of course claims to assist developers to publish their apps globally.