KUCHING: Kaspersky researchers detected a Trojan application that terrorizes users with unsolicited ads and boosts installations of online shopping applications – fooling both users and advertisers.
This malicious app visits smartphone app stores, downloads and launches applications and leaves fake reviews on behalf of the user, all while hiding itself from the device owner.
Kaspersky, as quoted in Borneo Post, cautioned that both users and brands need to be wary, especially as year-end sales are hitting the stores.
It explained that new Trojan application is boosting popular shopping app ratings and installations, and spreading numerous ads that may annoy users, thus, neither users and retailers can fully trust what they see online as Trojan (dubbed ‘shopper’) first drew the attention of researchers following its extensive obfuscation and use of the Google Accessibility Service.
The service, it said, enables users to set a voice to read out app content and automate interaction with the user interface – designed to help people with disabilities. However, in the hands of attackers, this feature presents a serious threat to the device owner.
Once it has permission to use the service, it pointed out that the malware could gain almost unlimited opportunities to interact with the system interface and applications.
It can capture data featured on the screen, press buttons and even emulate user gestures. It is not known yet how the malicious application is being spread, however, Kaspersky researchers assume that it may be downloaded by device owners from fraudulent ads or third-party app stores while trying to get a legitimate application.
Kaspersky also warned users to not install applications from untrusted sources, even if they are actively advertised, and block the installation of programs from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings, and use a reliable mobile security solution.