Malware on smartphones isn’t new, although what’s troubling is that the creators of these malwares have come up with new and interesting and even more sneaky ways of disguising them to trick users into installing it. The latest malware, as discovered by security firm Zimperium, seems to have managed to disguise itself as an Android system update.
The irony in this is that system updates are usually designed to patch security holes and vulnerabilities and to close off exploits from being used, so for most people, seeing an update and installing it is something they’re probably used to and might not necessarily pay attention to as well.
However, this malware does have a weakness in which it tells users that the system update must be downloaded from a third-party store. This alone should set off alarm bells for most users, which means that most users should be able to pick up on the fact that this isn’t a legit malware. Then again, we suppose like with most malware, it only needs to infect a few people for it to work.
The malware is said to be capable of stealing instant messenger messages, inspecting browser bookmarks and searches, clipboard data, notifications, recording audio from phone calls, taking photos through the phone’s cameras, and so on. However, the good news is that according to Google, the malware isn’t available through the Play Store which means that unless you download from third-party stores every now and then, for the most part you should be safe.