Android – being the biggest smartphone platform right now- is a major target for malware attacks. Just as this operating system was recovering from the attack on the Google Playstore, today we get a warning about a whole new threat.
ESET East Africa, an internet security company, has issued an alert to android users warning them to be wary of alternative app stores. The company’s Kenya County Manager, Teddy Njoroge, said that;
“Just like SMS trojans, ransomware threats have evolved over the past few years with hackers adopting techniques that have proven effective in regular desktop malware to develop lock-screen types and file-encrypting ransomware. These have been causing major financial and data losses for years and have now made their way to the Android platform.“
The company has recently discovered that www.CepKutusu.com, a Turkish alternative Android app store was spreading malware under the guise of all the offered Android apps on the site. According to the researchers, the site was giving users seven days of clean apps before redirecting you to a link that would download a mobile banking malware referred to as Android/Spy.Banker.IE
The researchers tried to reach out to the store operator about the discovery and the website responded by ceasing the malicious activity. Lukas Stefanko, an Android malware researcher at ESET had not seen this type of tactic before.
“This is the first time I’ve seen an entire Android market infected like that. Within the Windows ecosystem and in browsers, this technique is known to have been used for some time but in the Android ecosystem, it’s really a new attack vector“ he said.
Despite the fact that the mobile banking malware was only focused on Turkey and other parts of Europe, Njoroge advised that users should always get apps from official app stores and practice caution when downloading any content from the web. In addition it is recommended to pay attention to anything suspicious in file name, size and extension as well as getting yourself a reliable mobile security solution to protect you from the latest threats