Android security flaw could let attackers imitate any app and steal your login details

From Google to Samsung, Android smartphones are some of the most popular handheld devices around the world.

But if you have an Android smartphone, a new finding may raise some alarm bells.

Researchers from Promon have discovered a new security flaw that could let attackers ‘assume the identity’ of legitimate apps, in order to carry out on-device phishing attacks.

The bug is called StrandHogg 2.0, and can overlay a malicious version of any app over the real app, capturing all logins.

Worryingly, the attackers can impersonate multiple apps in one attack, giving them several opportunities to steal your passwords, according to Promon.

Security experts Sophos explained: “Because this attack is so hard to spot, and can steal almost anything on a device (GPS data, images, logins, SMS messages and emails, phone logs, etc.) there’s a chance it might be interesting to nation state hackers as well as criminals out for profit.”

The flaw affected anyone running Android versions 9.0 or earlier, according to Promon.

Thankfully, Google has now released a patch update, meaning Android users are safe for now.

Boris Cipot, a senior security engineer at Synopsys, said: “It’s promising to see that Google has reacted so quickly here, implementing a system through which to screen applications for unwanted behavior and then blocking apps attempting to exploit this vulnerability.

"It’s worth noting that Strandhogg 2.0 is dangerous for two reasons: the way in which it ends up on your mobile device and the way in which it harvests rights and access data. The malware can be installed by so-called “dropper apps,” also known as hostile downloaders, that are distributed through Google Play.

"Android device users need to be cautious of the apps they choose to install. Even as Google works to protect their users, malicious apps will still likely slide past their screening process on occasion.

“One way that users can stay alert and mindful is to do a bit of research on the app developers before downloading a given app. Check where the app comes from and if anything seems off, then think twice before proceeding with installation."

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