As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread fear across the planet many smartphone users are trying to find simple ways to get help and advice. One popular source of information is via smartphone apps but it seems some cyber criminals are now using these digital downloads to cash in on the coronavirus crisis which has infected and killed thousands of people.
According to new research from the team at Bitdefender, there’s was a 35 per cent increase in searches and downloads for medical apps in the first two weeks of March alone.
These numbers likely show that, as the Coronavirus outbreak becomes an increased threat, smartphone users became more interested in downloading applications that would provide information on procedures for avoiding infection, updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, or even medical appointment apps.
Although the Google Play Store remains a pretty safe place to download the latest applications, some hackers are turning to third-party stores to try and spread malicious coronavirus apps.
Bitdefender says that some are particularly nasty with them able to wipe devices, install SMS-sending malware and even the money-siphoning Android malware named Joker Trojan.
Joker is often able to remain totally undetected and, was installed on a device sets about interacting with ad networks and websites by simulating clicks and silently signing up victims for premium services.
- Android WARNING: If your kids have downloaded these apps, DELETE now
Joker is well known but it seems the coronavirus has also led to new attacks launching.
One of the latest campaigns targets people searching for coronavirus with a banking bug.
The Anubis banking Trojan has never been associated with any Android coronavirus malware campaign, until now.
The application imitates a coronavirus information site and, on installation, it asks for accessibility. If given access to that permission, it will request various other permissions and, most worryingly, can actually accept them by itself.
To throw users off its scent, it takes them to a coronavirus statistics website that then proceeds to hide its icon while, in the background, it continues with an arsenal of functionalities, specific to Anubis.
Initially, Anubis targeted countries ranging from the US and India to France, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Poland, however, it seems this recent Android version is now spreading further afield. by impersonating the legitimate website to which it redirects users.
Another popular method for hackers to attack devices is via so-called ‘Coronavirus Trackers’.
One example discovered by Bitdefender gives out adware to unsuspecting users.
At start-up, the application says it is “not available in your country” and hides itself. It will stay dormant for a time before actually starting to bombard the user with ads.
Speaking about the latest research, Bitdefender’s Liviu Arsene, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic might have everyone running around after information, searching for applications that offer live monitoring or even medical appointments to get tested.
“It’s always recommended that you install only official apps from official marketplaces, and seek information only from official sources. Also, it’s crucial to make sure you have a mobile security solution that can keep you and your device safe from malware and other online threats. “
Source: Read Full Article