You should always be careful with apps from third-party providers you do not know. In case of doubt, their useful facade can hide malicious software that wants to access data or even take over your smartphone. In the case of the new malware Xenomorph, which is spreading via the Google Play Store, your bank details are at stake. Currently, the program is apparently still in its infancy, by means of different Android apps but it has already reached well over 50,000 devices.
Fast Cleaner: Android app is a Trojan horse
A team from IT security company ThreatFabric has analyzed Xenomorph and discovered strands of code that are similar to the Alien banking Trojan. The Dutch service specializes in fighting fraud and cybercrime. The discovered code suggests that the two threats may be linked. Xenomorph could be a successor to Alien, or at least one person was involved in both malware.
Banking Trojans like Xenomorph aim to steal sensitive financial data. They can allow scammers to hijack accounts, conduct unauthorized transactions, and then sell the stolen data to interested parties.
ThreadFabric has determined that customers of 56 different European banks are among the Trojan’s targets. The team also writes that it can be found on Android apps that appear on the official Google Play Store. They include generic performance-enhancing applications such as Fast cleaner. It alone has more than 50,000 installations.
“The current version of Xenomorph is capable of abusing Accessibility Services to steal personal information from unsuspecting victims, prevent uninstallation, and intercept SMS and notifications. ThreatFabric predicts that with a little more time to complete development, this malware could reach a higher threat level comparable to other modern Android banking Trojans.”
As a result, the malware could gain access to functions of your smartphone itself and, if necessary, even take over it.
You can find some of the Android apps affected by Xenomorph here. If you already have one of them on your phone, you should uninstall it urgently. In the case of some applications, however, even that is not enough. It is therefore important to empty the Android cache. If that doesn’t help either, you may need to perform a safe reset of your Android phone.