Harmful SharkBot App on Google Play Store
As of October 2022, the SharkBot App has been identified as a new breed of malware, launched by hackers to stealthily infect tech devices with its Android malware droppers. This new virus launched by criminal hackers was found infiltrating the Google Play store. When downloaded; it installs banking Trojans on its victims’ Android devices, with the disguise of regular App updates.
However, the SharkBot malware droppers are created without malicious codes, thus, they pose a huge challenge, as they easily bypass Google Play’s ironclad security. Thus, it is quite easy for criminal hackers to get these harmful Apps to pass the review process on the Play Store.
At the same time, when downloaded they are unlikely to appear suspicious, as they provide the advertised functionality. But their malicious behavior infects Android gadgets through dedicated App updates.
According to cyber security researchers Threat Fabric, Android malware droppers usher in a new era of virus attacks, since they are very hard to detect. With this modus operandi, dark web hackers continue to reap monetary benefits, as they continue to stealthily infect victims’ devices with banking Trojans disguised as necessary App updates.
Malware Droppers on the Rise
Now, the greatest problem with the SharkBot malware is it is very difficult to locate with just basic security software to identify and delete it. Researchers who investigate the stealth virus reported that with these stealth droppers, hackers can precisely distribute their harmful Apps.
And according to the Threat Fabric team, the use of malware droppers has increased exponentially, because of the stealth pathway it utilizes to infect Android gadgets.
So far, new security measures have been introduced to prevent hackers’ malware from abusing Android gadgets’ permissions. This includes fetching malicious modules from external sources or using the device Accessibility function to perform their harmful actions.
SharkBot particularly seems to be the answer from criminal hackers to the ever-increasing restrictions with each major Android release.
The SharkBot Android malware lures its victims to fake login prompts of legitimate websites, with a process that steals login information through keylogging. It also hijacks and completely controls infected mobile devices, even when not in use.
How to Remove SharkBot Malware
To trick victims, most malware droppers are the cheapest on the Google Play Store, and with this “affordable” and scalable mantra, most threat actors can easily target unsuspecting individuals. With their new successful way of easily bypassing the Play Store virus detection, the creation of dropper malware is expected to increase further in 2023.
Therefore, your only defense against Apps coded with harmful malware droppers is to pay close attention to the installation you manually approved. Cyber analysts have warned that the installation process of a virus payload is usually manually approved by the owner of the Android device.
It is paramount for users to avoid allowing updates from remote sources whenever possible. Always analyze URLs to ensure you are installing Apps from the official Google Play Store. Avoid updates from unknown or fraudulent websites. Lastly, always download updates from popular websites and interfaces, this will prevent malware from being installed in this manner.
All malware must be removed manually, and affected devices have to be scanned with an excellent virus scanner to detect and remove all traces of the malware. Also, you can seek the assistance of a licensed phone repair technician to effectively remove the virus.