Android malware disguised as system update shows up

Researchers have discovered new Android malware disguised as a system update for Android smartphones. Once installed, the malware forwards data from the smartphone to the attacker and the phone can be controlled remotely.

Researchers from the security company Zimperium discovered the malware and published the results together with TechCrunch. The app must be installed outside of the Play Store, but if successful, a connection is made to the attacker’s server and the smartphone can be controlled remotely.

The malware can steal all kinds of data from the victim’s phone, from messages to photos. It is also possible for the attacker to record sound via the microphone and activate the camera. In addition, location data is forwarded.

According to the researchers, it is probably malware that is made for targeted attacks. The dangerous thing about this malware is that the notification for a system update is difficult to distinguish from an official update.

According to Zimperium CEO Shridhar Mittal, it is a very advanced app. Mittal says the malware has not surfaced in the Play Store. A Google spokesperson declined to comment on how it has managed to fend off the malware to TechCrunch.