Android phone warning over 90 apps that could see your bank account drained

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Android users are being alerted to a new threat posed by a slew of applications harbouring the pernicious Ansta virus. The cybersecurity team at Zscaler ThreatLabz has identified several hazardous apps.

Once these apps are installed, they grant hackers the ability to monitor devices and pilfer personal passwords, potentially leading to theft from online banking accounts. This nefarious activity is conducted remotely, often leaving the phone owner oblivious until they notice discrepancies in their bank statements.

Zscaler ThreatLabz has reported that these malicious apps were accessible via Google's Play Store, resulting in over five million downloads. Among the latest apps found to be compromising Android devices are PDF and QR readers, which together have infected more than 70,000 devices before Google took action to remove them.

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These apps employ the "dropper technique" to spread malware. Initially, the app appears legitimate and bug-free, but cybercriminals subsequently introduce the financial-theft malware through updates delivered over the internet.

A spokesperson for Zscaler commented: "Over the past few months, we identified and analyzed more than 90 malicious applications uploaded to the Google Play store. These malware-infected applications have collectively garnered over 5.5 million installs.", reports Nottinghamshire Live.

"This sophisticated malware employs dropper applications that appear benign to users, deceiving them into unwittingly installing the malicious payload. Once installed, Anatsa exfiltrates sensitive banking credentials and financial information."

Should you suspect that you've unintentionally downloaded any dangerous apps such as 'PDF Reader and File Manager' or 'OR Reader and File Manager', it would be wise to promptly remove them and closely monitor your bank account.

"The recent campaigns conducted by threat actors deploying the Anatsa banking trojan highlight the risks faced by Android users, in multiple geographic regions, who downloaded these malicious applications from the Google Play store," added Zscaler ThreatLabz.

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