From Samsung to Google, Android smartphones are some of the most popular handheld devices around the world.
But if you use an Android smartphone, a new report may ring alarm bells for you.Researchers from ThreatFabric have discovered a new malware dubbed Alien that can steal passwords from 226 apps.
According to the researchers, Alien is not a new piece of code, but is a more advanced version of a previous malware, called Cerberus.
If Alien infects a smartphone, it can carry out a number of dangerous actions, including showing fake logins, collecting passwords and granting hackers access to the device.
During their analysis, the researchers identified 226 Android apps being targeted, including Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as several banking apps.
Unfortunately, it remains unclear how the malware is able to infect smartphones in the first place.
However, Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET, is urging consumers to be wary about which apps they install on their Android smartphones.He said: “This malware has the potential to be extremely dangerous and could cause huge, far-reaching implications to users and their devices.
"The impressive list of features, including stealing 2FA codes from authentication apps, is far greater than the Android malware we tend to see.
“It is vital that users stay clear of unknown, unofficial app stores when it comes to downloading new apps. Clicking through from webpages may seem convenient to the user, but these links can take them to locations that lack the scrutiny and standard protection Google offers.
“Android malware remains hugely profitable for cyber criminals, but the cycle can be broken once users recognise the damage that can be caused when departing from the safety of the Google Play Store.”