New stealthy Android malware stumps antivirus, poses huge threat to phones, study reveals | Tech News

New stealthy Android malware stumps antivirus, poses huge threat to phones, study reveals

New Android malware employs crafty methods to bypass security, hiding from antivirus programs and posing a huge threat to phones, warns a recent study.

| Updated on: Aug 20 2023, 08:42 IST
Android apps
New Android malware employs stealthy tactics to slip past security measures, raising concerns about phone safety. (Pixabay)

In a recent study, Zimperium, a mobile security firm, has uncovered a concerning trend in Android malware. These malicious apps are using a tricky method to hide from antivirus programs and have a huge potential of harming your phone to steal your data.

Hackers are constantly endeavouring to find ways to get their harmful apps onto your phone and the latest trick they're using involves a type of Android malware that can hide from even the best antivirus apps. This malware is using a new technique to avoid being detected by security systems, according to a Tom's Guide report.

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The Role of APKs in the Attack

This discovery comes from Zimperium, a company that focuses on finding and removing malware from the Google Play store, where you download apps for Android phones. To understand this issue better, you need to know about APKs. The full form of APK is Android Package Kit and refers to packages that contain the apps you download from Google Play Store. It contains an app for the Google mobile operating system called Android.

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When hackers hijack these files they resist being checked by antivirus programs because they use tricky methods to hide their true intentions. This is a new method, and antivirus programs and cybersecurity experts are still learning about it. So, these malware apps can pretend to be normal apps and slip past your phone's defenses.

The Widespread Threat

According to the Zimperium's report, they found 3,300 of these suspicious APKs out in the wild. Shockingly, 71 of them can infect phones running Android OS version 9 or later.

Zimperium began investigating this issue after another security company, Joe Security, discovered a similar APK that could dodge malware analysis and still run smoothly on Android carrying out its nefarious purpose for the hackers.

The concerning part is that these 3,300 APKs were likely not found on the official Google Play Store. They probably spread through other ways like third-party app stores or sideloading by smartphone users themselves.

The Risk of Sideloading

Sideloading means installing apps from sources other than the official app stores. While it can be useful, it's also a way for bad actors to sneak malware onto your phone.

The good news is if you stick to downloading apps only from the Play Store or other trusted app stores, you're less likely to encounter this type of malware. Yes, these apps with malicious codes are present even on Play Store. Abd it's important to be cautious because hackers are always looking for new ways to harm your device.

Stay Safe from Malicious Apps

To stay safe from malicious Android apps, remember not to sideload apps unless you absolutely have to. Stick to the official app stores like the Play Store. Even then, do some research before installing a new app. Check reviews and the app's developer to make sure it's safe. Even check the language for grammatical mistakes.

Your phone's security is crucial, so always be vigilant when downloading apps to protect yourself from these sneaky threats.

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First Published Date: 20 Aug, 08:41 IST