Two new sophisticated Android Banking trojan viruses are exploiting mobile users' behaviour in India to gain access to their confidential data, global IT security firm Quick Heal warned on Tuesday.
Security experts at Quick Heal Security Labs have detected "Android.Marcher.C" and "Android.Asacub.T" -- the two trojans that imitate notifications from popular social applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, Instagram and Twitter as well as some of the leading banking apps in India.
By gaining access to incoming messages through administrative privileges, these malware also allow hackers to bypass the two-factor OTP authentication typically used for securing online transactions in India, the researchers warned.
"Indian users often download unverified apps from third-party app stores and links sent through SMS and email. This gives hackers a lucrative opportunity to steal confidential information from unsuspecting users," said Sanjay Katkar, Co-founder and CTO, Quick Heal Technologies Limited.
"The fact that we've detected three similar malware in less than six months indicates that hackers are now targeting mobile users, who are far more vulnerable to sophisticated phishing attacks," he added.
While "Android.Marcher.C" uses the Adobe Flash Player icon to look like a genuine app, "Android.Asacub.T" mimics an Android Update icon.
Whenever users access an app on the database of these malware, they are tricked into entering sensitive information such as banking credentials, card details, and login IDs/passwords before they can continue using the app.
This is not the first time that Quick Heal Security Labs has detected such a malware.
The researchers previously raised an alert in January this year about a similar Android Banking Trojan.
Known as "Android.banker.A2f8a", the malware was distributed through a fake Flash Player on third-party app stores and mimicked more than 232 banking and cryptocurrency apps.
The security researchers have recommended Android users to avoid downloading apps through third-party app stores or through links provided in SMS and email.
"Always keep 'Unknown Sources' disabled, and verify app permissions before installing any app from official stores," the security firm said.
Users must also keep their Google Play Protect service always 'ON' and install a reliable mobile security app to detect and block fake/malicious apps, it added.