Top Story: New security-busting malware targets 1+ billion smartphones
May 2, 2016
Shah Sheikh (1294 articles)

Top Story: New security-busting malware targets 1+ billion smartphones

Do you know which operating system your smartphone is running on? If you don’t use an iPhone, there’s a really good chance you have an Android device.

Android is Google’s mobile operating system and, get this, it’s running on at least 1.4 billion devices around the world. That number is more than eye-popping. It’s catching the attention of hackers who see all those devices as a gateway to a lot of money.

You need to know about a scary malware attack that’s quickly getting out of control. It’s called overlay malware and here’s how it works.

Hackers trick you into sharing your credentials by placing a fake app over a real app. For instance, you might open an app for your online banking account and discover you’ve been taken to a new window requesting your bank login and password. They steal you banking information and all the steps to get in, like two-step authentication.

There’s a good chance you won’t give that a second thought. After all, you type in login information all the time.

However, overlay malware like GM Bot are so effective that the cost to buy them on the black market is surging.

The hottest one is GM Bot because it’s so effective. Right now, the malware’s selling for $15,000, which is up from $5,000 just a few months ago. That’s according to IBM X-Force, who were speaking to our sponsor Kaspersky Lab.

The coding for the GM Bot malware was leaked online a couple of months ago. Hackers have been reworking that coding to make it tough for your Internet security suite to detect it. The attackers are specifically targeting Android devices.

But GM Bot isn’t the only overlay malware that’s attacking Android devices. KNL Bot, which is similar to GM Bot, is going for about $7,000. The malware lets hackers remotely steal your bank login credentials and credit card information.

Other overlay malware bots include Cron Bot ($7,000) and Bilal Bot ($3,000). Some of these malware are coded to reconfigure themselves to avoid being detected by some Internet security systems.

Here’s what to do: These overlay malware are attacking devices running on Android systems older than 5.0. (The current Android Marshmallow is 6.0.). So, make sure you’re upgrading to newer Android gadgets and always install security updates.

Plus, avoid downloading third-party apps. Use apps you find in the Google Play store.

Free bonus: It also helps to have a security app on your gadget. This can scan new apps for malicious content and block them before they install. Get the free Kaspersky Internet Security for Android.

You can also buy Kaspersky Total Security, which protects up to five gadgets, whether Windows, Apple or Android. It adds even more security features to the free Kaspersky Internet Security app.