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Over 300,000 Android Users Have Downloaded These Banking Trojan Malware Apps, Say Security Researchers

Over 300,000 Android smartphone users have downloaded what turned out to be banking trojans after falling victim to malware that has bypassed detection by the Google Play app store. ZDNet reports: Detailed by cybersecurity researchers at ThreatFabric, the four different forms of malware are delivered to victims via malicious versions of commonly downloaded applications, including document scanners, QR code readers, fitness monitors and cryptocurrency apps. The apps often come with the functions that are advertised in order to avoid users getting suspicious. In each case, the malicious intent of the app is hidden and the process of delivering the malware only begins once the app has been installed, enabling them to bypass Play Store detections.

The most prolific of the four malware families is Anatsa, which has been installed by over 200,000 Android users — researchers describe it as an “advanced” banking trojan that can steal usernames and passwords, and uses accessibility logging to capture everything shown on the user’s screen, while a keylogger allows attackers to record all information entered into the phone. […] The second most prolific of the malware families detailed by researchers at ThreatFabric is Alien, an Android banking trojan that can also steal two-factor authentication capabilities and which has been active for over a year. The malware has received 95,000 installations via malicious apps in the Play Store. […] The other two forms of malware that have been dropped using similar methods in recent months are Hydra and Ermac, which have a combined total of at least 15,000 downloads. ThreatFabric has linked Hydra and Ermac to Brunhilda, a cyber-criminal group known to target Android devices with banking malware. Both Hydra and Ermac provide attackers with access to the device required to steal banking information. ThreatFabric has reported all of the malicious apps to Google and they’ve either already been removed or are under review.

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