India among countries with most Android malware, ‘GB WhatsApp’ among responsible apps: ESET report

India among countries with most Android malware, ‘GB WhatsApp’ among responsible apps: ESET report

As cyber security threats around the world ease after COVID, a new ESET report suggests that the situation is still not very good in India, which happens to be one of the biggest playgrounds for Android malware.

hacker, malware, android malware, android hackAndroid devices in India continue to be affected by Trojan malware hidden in third-party APK files. (Image source: Pixabay)

A new report has suggested that India is among the countries with the highest number of Android infections. The T2 2022 threat report from Malware Protection and Internet Security firm ESET suggests that India was among the countries with the most detections of Android/Spy Agent Trojan malware, as Android threat detections continued to grow in T2 2022 by 9.5 percent.

These Trojan agents are malware files or code that arrive on a target device undetected, often mixed with or disguised as another app and then spy on the target devices, with capabilities that go as far as secretly recording audio and video.

‘GB WhatsApp’ responsible among responsible apps

The report adds that third-party WhatsApp client/clone GB WhatsApp, which offers users all of WhatsApp’s standard features along with some extra perks, was responsible for a large portion of Android spyware detection in the past four months.

Since the clone app is not available through the Google Play Store and is sideloaded by most of the users, it has a number of security risks. Like most APK files, the sideloaded file can be easily modified and may contain malware before users even download it. Without the protection of the Play Store, these apps with malicious code can easily run through the system once installed.

The worst thing about a Trojan malware is that the attacks won’t be noticeable immediately, and even if the malicious code can spy on you, the day-to-day performance of your phone might not be affected enough to notice a difference. This is why these attacks are not only difficult to spot, but also hard to get rid of, often requiring a complete reset of devices to delete the malicious code.

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IoT botnet’s ‘Mozi’ numbers drop, but India, China remain key geolocations

The country also ranked second just below China in the geolocation of bots that make up the IoT botnet ‘Mozi’ according to the report.

“The largest zombie IoT botnet ‘Mozi’ saw the number of bots drop by 23% from 500,000 compromised devices in T1 to 383,000 in T2. ​​However, China (53%) and India (35%) continued to have the highest number of IoT bots geolocated in the respective countries. These statistics confirm the assumption that the Mozi botnet is on autopilot, running without human supervision since the reputed author was arrested in 2021,” the report said.

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