Security experts have discovered an Android malware which has wide-ranging capabilities that it can even blow up a smartphone. The researchers discovered that the Android malware strain usually lurked amongst third-party applications on the open sourced platform.
The researchers from the popular security firm, Kaspersky Lab, said that the new Trojan was called Loapi. Loapi is able to exploit the phone’s system that within two days of infection it will be able to cause the battery to bulge out of the cover. Loapi can also be used to mine cryptocurrencies, launch irritating denial of service attacks, and also overwhelm a phone with many ads. The virus can also read text messages on the phone and connect to the internet on its own. The malware roped people in by posing as an anti-virus software, and in some cases as a porn application.
Kaspersky Lab wrote in a blog post that they were amazed at the capabilities of the malware. The researchers said that they had never seen such a jack of all trades in the malware industry.
The malware, after installation, incessantly pressures the user into giving it access to the device by looping a pop up which only stops when the user clicks yes. After this, the app will go incognito or in some cases fake some antiviral activity, in an attempt to not arouse the victims’ suspicion. If the user decides to revoke the permissions of the app, it will start locking the phone or closing the windows itself. When it connects to the hackers control and command centre, the app will be sending data of apps which pose a real danger.
If the app detects an authentic anti-viral app, it will again loop-in and cause the user to delete the authentic app. The malware is also used for cryptocurrency mining. The malware uses the devices computing power to mine Monero. This, in turn, causes the battery to bulge. The researchers said that the new malware was an interesting version of most Android malware apps. They also noted that it could be a modified version of the 2015 Trojan called Podec.
The researchers also remarked that the only nefarious activity missing was user espionage. However, they said the structure of the malware, it was easy to add that functionality later on. Fortunately for Android users, the malware is not on the Google Play Store. The researchers however urged users to stay vigilant.