The malware can also steal credit card details and sensitive information.
Android is the most used operating system on smartphones around the world. It’s no wonder therefore when hackers target it to make their money. The operating system has been under constant attack for various reasons including its openness, the number of users and third-party use of the system. And it turns out, cyber attackers are here to take advantage again.
A new malware strain has been parading itself on the Android software as the popular taxi-hailing app, Uber. Security researchers warned Android users to stay vigilant as the malware is reported to steal passwords from users. Symantec’s security researchers, a US-based cybersecurity company wrote a blog post which detailed information about the malware. In their post, the group noted that they had discovered a new strand of the FakeApp malware.
Using overlay techniques, a method by which the app mirrors the software of the actual app as they try to dupe users. The security researchers also said that the hackers allowed the FakeApp malware to be able to conceal the heist. Dinesh Venkatesan, Symantec’s threat expert said that in order to not spook the user, the malware managed to put up a screen which would show the users current location. This helps with trust because normally, the Uber app is expected to show the location of users.
He added that this showed that the FakeApp malware creators had covered all of their tracks. In order to show the location screen, the FakeApp malware would take a URL of the original app when the Ride Request activity starts. In this portion, the current location of the user is already preloaded. Hackers have a greater chance of being unseen when they exploit the services and functions of the real app. At the same time, stolen credentials will be sent to one external server.
The app does not only steal passwords. It is also said to take people’s credit card details, which are usually inputted into the mobile applications. Symantec said that the malware was of, and should be considered a real threat to Uber users.
An Uber spokesperson said that the company encouraged all of their users to use only trusted sources. The public relations office of the company was already engaged in ways to help people who were involved in any illegal unauthorized login attempts.
Thankfully, no evidence suggests that the app has found itself in the Google Play Store yet, therefore the number of victims would be minimal. Venkatesan said that such cases indicated how malware creators would stop at nothing to find new ways to trick unwitting users. Symantec encouraged users to follow some simple techniques to keep themselves safe. These include: keeping the updated software, downloading apps from trusted stores, being aware of app’s permissions on their devices and making frequent data backups for vital information.