Smartphone users have been issued an urgent warning about downloading apps which could contain invasive malware- that has the potential to empty your bank account, with thousands already presumed to be at risk of an attack.

SharkBot, which can steal login and banking details, has made a return to the Google Play Store, after cyber criminals have infiltrated intense security measures - with apps only becoming infected with the bug once downloaded and installed.

The virus, which initially surfaced in March earlier this year, has made its way onto two applications which Android users are being urged to delete immediately for their own safety.

According to reports, Mister Phone Cleaner app and Kylhavy Mobile Security app have both been found to be infected with the malware, according to software experts Fox-IT who first made the discovery.

Google has since banned these apps, but anyone with the software still on their phone or tablet should act fast to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Once installed unknowingly, SharkBot can funnel money from mobile bank accounts, while also creating bogus logins for online services so hackers can steal sensitive information such as usernames and password.

Speaking about the attack, Fox-IT's Alberto Segura said: "This new version asks the victim to install the malware as a fake update for the antivirus to stay protected against threats.

"We have found two SharkbotDopper apps active in Google Play Store, with 10K and 50K installs each of them. On the 22nd of August 2022, Fox-IT’s Threat Intelligence team found a new Sharkbot sample with version 2.25; communicating with command-and-control servers mentioned previously.

"This Sharkbot version introduced a new feature to steal session cookies from the victims that logs into their bank account."

If you think you may have downloaded these apps then make sure you delete them and check any permissions you may have granted it.

It's also worth checking your bank account for any strange transactions - no matter how little or large.

How to delete apps on Android:

  • Open the Google Play Store app.
  • At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  • Tap Manage apps and devices. Manage.
  • Tap the name of the app that you want to delete.
  • Tap Uninstall.

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