Warning to Android users – Do not download the Flash Security Update

Raise your hand (virtually) if your phone runs out of power half way through the day?

*Liron raises his hand*

Scrambling for a charger and a cable is now just accepted as normal so we tend to do anything we can to save our battery’s power consumption and make it last just a little bit longer – including downloading apps that promise to extend our battery life. But here is where things go wrong as the ESET security software has reported the new Android/TrojanDownloader.Agent.JI Trojan making its round with the Android users.

Don’t fall for it.

In the Malware Coder’s latest attempt to access our mobile phones, the rogue coders use adult sites and social media to entice inform the users that their phone needs a Flash Security Update. Anyone clicking on the link is taken to a website that mimics the official Adobe Flash website. If the user downloads the fake “update” they are infected.

According to the ESET security software, “Following installation, the malware creates a fake ‘Saving Battery’ service in the Android system and urges the victim to grant it crucial permissions within Android’s Accessibility functions. If granted, these permissions – Monitor your actions, Retrieve window content and Turn on Explore by Touch – enable the attacker to mimic the user’s actions and display whatever they want on the user’s screen.”

“In cases we investigated, this trojan was built to download another trojan designed for siphoning off funds from bank accounts. However, it would take only a small change in the code for the user to get served with spyware or ransomware,” warns Lukáš Štefanko, the ESET Malware Researcher who led the analysis.

How to check if you have been infected by the Android/TrojanDownloader.Agent.JI Trojan?

Every Android users, please do this quickly now. You need to look for the fake “Saving Battery” option hiding among the Services in the Accessibility menu. To remove the threat or uninstall the app manually by: Tap on Settings -> Application Manager -> Flash-Player . If you find it, press the Uninstall option.

Eset confirms that in some instances, the user has been successfully tricked into granting Administrator rights to the app. In such a case, it is necessary to deactivate the administrator rights first, by going to Settings -> Security -> Flash-Player.

“Unfortunately, uninstalling the downloader doesn’t remove malicious apps the downloader might have installed. As with the downloader itself, the best way for cleaning up the device is using a mobile security solution,” recommends Lukáš Štefanko.

There are some legitimate apps that do help manage and monitor your power consumption but these will be available at the official Google Play store where technically, they should have been checked to ensure that they do not contain anything harmful.

ESET security experts have prepared a set of basic recommendations for preventing infection with mobile malware:

  • Only download apps or updates from a trustworthy source – in the case of an Adobe Flash Player update, the only safe place to get it from is the official Adobe website. Always check the URL address in your browser.
  • Pay attention to what permissions and rights your apps request.
  • Use a reputable mobile security solution.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress ESET will address these and other issues.

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