Android users warned of new hacking threat from fake Adobe Flash Player app

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Security researchers are warning Android users to be on the lookout for a new form of trojan malware.

Users are falling victim to the malware as it disguises itself as an Adobe Flash Player app and tricks victims into giving it “special permissions” to access all areas of their device, as well as allowing it to download other malware and ransomware.

The Trojan is targeting all versions of Android and is designed to mimic the actions of users in order to steal their private data.

The malware, which was discovered by researchers at ESET, is distributed on social media and through compromised adult video sites.

Fake Flash Player update screen and battery warning

Fake Flash Player update screen and battery warning

According to ESET, the malware urges the victim to download an update to Adobe Flash Player. However, once the fake update is installed the malware unleashes the device with dozens of additional pop ups warning of “too much consumption of energy” and urging users to switch to a “saving battery” mode.

“Like most malicious pop ups, the message won’t stop appearing until the victim gives in and agrees to enable the service,” researchers from ESET said.

The malware then contacts servers controlled by its cyber criminal creators feeding them with information gleaned from infected devices.

“The server responds with a URL leading to a malicious app of the cybercriminal’s choice – in the detected case, banking malware (though it could be any malware ranging from adware through spyware, and on to ransomware). After acquiring the malicious link, the compromised device displays a bogus lock screen with no option to close it, covering the ongoing malicious activity beneath it, ESET said.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the malware can then remain undetected on the infected device, with the user none the wiser that it is carrying out malicious activities on their phone.

Users who think their device may be infected with the malware can try uninstalling the fake Adobe Flash Player app from their phone. However, this may not remove it completely.

“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,” says Lukáš Štefanko, an ESET malware researcher.

Android users are also reminded to only download apps from the Google Play Store.

Jonathan Fairfield
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.
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