Millions now have to check Android phones for dangerous apps that could drain your bank

CYBER EXPERTS warn owners of Android phones about a dangerous fake app.

It can hijack your two-factor login texts – the ones designed to protect your online accounts.

Cyber ​​experts warn about this chat app


Cyber ​​experts warn about this chat appPhoto credit: Google / Evina

The app is called Symoo and claims to be a simple texting app – but researchers say it actually contains dangerous Android malware.

It does this by forwarding SMS login codes you receive to scammers.

This allows scammers to use your number to create accounts on Facebook, Google or Microsoft apps.

But it could ultimately be used to access anything that requires an SMS to log in.

This means hackers could potentially access very sensitive logins, including your social media or banking apps.

It was discovered by Evina’s cybersecurity researcher Maxime Ingrao, who detailed the scam in a tweet post.

“Found new Android malware that reads all SMS and sends it to a server,” Maxime said.

“A website sells account creations (Facebook, Google…). It uses infected phones to do the registrations via SMS [authentications].”

He warned that the app had already infected 100,000 devices.

When you install the app, it asks for SMS permissions – which isn’t entirely uncommon for an SMS app.

But cyber experts say that it forwards login codes you receive to online crooks.

According to reports, scammers sell your phone number as a “virtual number” that strangers can use to create online accounts.

And this could result in your own accounts being compromised.

If you downloaded the app, you should consider uninstalling it as soon as possible.

Always be careful when downloading apps – even if you get them from the official Google Play Store.

When this happens, many of the reviews have complained about the app, which is a great red flag to watch out for.

How to recognize dangerous apps

We recently spoke to cybersecurity expert Grant Wyatt to find out what to look out for.

Grant, who is COO of cyber company MIRACL, gave The sun Seven tips for using Android apps safely.

#1 – Check the downloads

“The number one rule when downloading popular apps from the Google Play Store is to check the number of downloads,” Grant told The Sun.

“If you’re about to download an extremely popular app but the number of downloads seems low, it’s probably fake.”

#2 – Shady Permissions?

“Probably the most important thing is the PERMISSIONS that the app needs,” Grant explained.

“Are they suitable for the app? Look specifically for apps that need access to your contact list or permission to send text messages, for example.

“Think about it, does the app really need these permissions? You must use your judgment.

“Mistake here can be really harmful, apps with network permission can ‘sniff’ all data you send and apps with keyboard permissions can ‘sniff’ all passwords you type – avoid downloading apps that require them.” .”

#3 – Read the description

“Read the product description too,” Grant told us.

“If the description is in broken English, looks ‘bot-like’, or is formatted in an odd way, it’s probably fake.

“While looking at the product description, also look at the pictures. Is there anything strange about it?

“Are they blurry or does the language seem wrong? If so, it’s probably fake.”

#4 – Who made it?

Grant warned: “Especially with financial apps, you should also look closely at the developer of the app.

“Make sure the developer is a legitimate financial institution.

“If the developer’s name has nothing to do with your bank, it’s probably a fake.”

#5 – Use Reports!

“If you come across a fake app, you should report it,” Grant told The Sun.

“Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Report as inappropriate’.

“From there, you just fill out a form highlighting your suspicion that the developer is up to no good, and Google will take it from there.”

#6 – Don’t be afraid to erase

“If you accidentally download a fake app, delete it immediately,” Grant advised.

“If you don’t see the icon on your screen, which is often the case with data collection applications, go to your application settings and delete it from there.

“However, simply deleting the app does not mean that you are no longer infected.

“You need to run antivirus software on your device to make sure the malware is really gone.

“You should also clear all junk files on your phone to get rid of any trace of the malware.”

#7 – Ban your accounts

“Finally, you should change all your passwords and consider implementing multi-factor authentication wherever possible,” Grant recommended.

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“Implementing MFA ensures that if you fall victim to a fake app again, the cybercriminal behind it won’t be able to access your account.

“The best providers enable one-step MFA, giving you all the protection of a traditional MFA but without the hassle of SMS or email codes.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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