Almost Half of Mobile Malware Are Hidden Apps

Certain apps are hiding themselves and stealing resources and data from mobile devices, according to a new report by security firm McAfee. From a report: This is a growing threat comprising almost half of all malicious mobile malware, and a 30% increase from 2018, said Raj Samani, chief scientist and McAfee fellow, who authored the Q1 2020 McAfee Mobile Threat Report. “This shows where the focus from criminals [is] on the mobile platform, which is in stark contrast to non-mobile malware,” Samani said. A new malware family called LeifAccess or Shopper is taking advantage of the accessibility features in Android to create accounts, download apps, and post reviews, according to the report. LeifAccess, “is a broad campaign [and] is using alternate methods to achieve installation but thereafter trying to achieve legitimacy to the user with fake warnings,” Samani said. For example, LeifAccess does not create an icon or shortcut, “so it’s not immediately obvious that the app is installed … but for some of the hidden apps within the report, malicious mobile attacks will even masquerade as a legitimate app,” he said.