“Agent Smith” is bugging over 25 million Android devices by going viral and infecting them

Agent Smith malware attacks authentic apps and converts them into a harmful replica. This replica starts displaying ads programmed by its creator.

According to Check Point Software Technologies, Agent Smith invaded 25 million Android devices by installing an app from an unofficial Android store.

These apps attract others by offering features like photo utility, game or adult app that is having contaminated content that can easily corrupt your device.  First, it traps you by the attractive features and when you get all prepared to install it, It corrupts the authentic app and installs “agent smith” on the device.

This app is too good at camouflage and acts as a utility from Google, Google updater, Google update for you, or “com.google.vending” and hides its actual icon from the user.

By wearing the mask of Google updater and all, the system fails to recognize the culprit and allows it to replace the app by adding code to carry out the commands of malware.

After all this Android user gets no clue about this malicious factor. The user sees a normal-looking app with overflowing ads. An interesting point comes when these cruel apps control the real app ads by hacking them through professional hackers and can make money by sending them to ads broker.

The story does not end here. Agent Smith is known for its ads pushing nature but researchers came to know later that it can be used to steal bank account secret information or details.

Its feature of hiding its identity and posing as a normal app makes it so successful in making fool out of user in many ways.

Let’s talk about a popular third party app-store whose mask is being used by Agent Smith. This app store is 9Apps which caters the users living in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Since the infection is widespread so it is also seen in devices of the users from Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Australia, Nepal, and the U.S.

There is a long list of victim apps in which WhatsApp, Lenovo and Flipkart like apps are top of the list.

Agent Smith was first reported in 2016, its first home was 9Apps store.

The researchers from Check Point Team "reported these dangerous apps to Google upon discovery. Currently, all bespoke apps have been taken down from the Google Play store."

Image: solarseven / istockphoto

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