Beware! BRATA malware can steal money via bank apps, reset phone; delete now
A new variant of BRATA malware can steal money and reset phone.
As many as 85% smartphones run on an Android operating systems. Unlike Apple iOS operating system, the former is an open source based system which allows users to install apps from third parties making it more vulnerable to cybercrime. That is why Google has been warning people of malware that may infect their phone through such route and one such malware that is posing great danger to phone users is BRATA (Brazilian Remote Access Tool, Android). The BRATA malware was originally identified in 2019 and now it has surfaced with a new variant that can steal money from bank apps and wipe out data from Android devices.
Researchers have warned people that the new variant of the malware is capable of performing a factory reset on the targeted device and can lead to a complete wipeout of data without the victim's permission or knowledge.
BRATA can steal money via e-banking apps
An IT security researcher at Milan, Italy-based fraud-management firm Cleafy, stated that the malware aims at stealing money from the victim's bank account by accessing the bank apps installed on the device.If successful, it then factory reset the phone to divert the victim's attention. The victim ends up losing all the data from their phone.
Cleafy also noted that BRATA's new variant can even track GPS and keylogging. This means, the malware can, not only track the user's location, but also access data based on their activity on the infected device. According to the report, BRATA is initially a banking trojan that can remotely access users' Android devices and steal their money via e-banking apps. However, the new variant can remotely factory reset an Android smartphone following malicious activities.
The researchers discovered the new BRATA variant in November 2021 and the list of targeted countries includes Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Latin America.
How to secure your device from BRATA malware?
If you are an Android user, it's better to avoid downloading apps from third-party app stores. It is also advised that if you are downloading an app from Play Store, do check the permissions it seeks.
It is highly recommended to use reliable anti-malware software on your phone. This will keep your device updated and regularly scanned for potential threats. But remember, anti-malware software is not always successful, so you should try and not download any third party apps without thoroughly verifying them. This 2-pronged strategy should give you good results.
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