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Android banking fraud malware generally known as sharkbot has reared its head within the official Google Play retailer once more, posing as file managers to bypass app market restrictions.

Many of the customers who downloaded the malicious apps are within the UK and Italy, Romanian cybersecurity agency Bitdefender stated in an evaluation revealed this week.

SharkBot, first found in late 2021 by Cleafy, is a recurring cellular risk distributed on each the Google Play Retailer and different third-party app shops.

One of many Trojan’s fundamental targets is to provoke cash transfers from compromised gadgets by a method referred to as “Computerized Switch System” (ATS), wherein a transaction triggered by a banking software is intercepted to swap the consumer’s account. beneficiary with an account managed by the actor within the fund.

Additionally it is able to serving up a pretend login overlay when customers attempt to open reliable banking apps, stealing credentials within the course of.

Usually these apps supply seemingly innocent performance, disguised as antivirus software program and cleaners to sneak into the Google Play Retailer. However in addition they work as droppers that, as soon as put in on the gadget, can acquire the malware payload.

The dropper apps, now eliminated, are under:

  • X-File Supervisor ( – 10,000+ downloads
  • FileVoyager (com.potsepko9.FileManagerApp) – Over 5000 downloads
  • LiteCleaner M (com.ltdevelopergroups.litecleaner.m) – Greater than 1000 downloads

LiteCleaner M remains to be accessible for obtain from a third-party app retailer referred to as Apksos, which additionally hosts a fourth SharkBot widget underneath the title “Cellphone AID, Cleaner, Booster” (

The X-File Supervisor app, which was solely accessible to customers in Italy, attracted greater than 10,000 downloads earlier than it was eliminated. With Google clamping down on permission abuse, the risk actor’s alternative to make use of a file supervisor as a lure isn’t a surprise.

It is because Google’s Developer Program Coverage restricts permission to put in exterior packages (REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES) to a handful of software classes: net browsers, prompt messengers that help attachments, file managers, enterprise gadget administration, backup and restore, and gadget switch.

Invariably, this permission is abused to obtain and set up malware from a distant server. A number of the goal banking apps embrace Financial institution of Eire, Financial institution of Scotland, Barclays, BNL, HSBC UK, Lloyds Financial institution, Metro Financial institution, and Santander.

“The applying [i.e., the dropper] performs anti-emulator checks and targets customers in Nice Britain and Italy by checking if the ISO SIM corresponds to TI or GB,” Bitdefender researchers stated.

Customers who’ve put in the aforementioned apps are suggested to take away them and alter their checking account passwords instantly. Customers are additionally suggested to allow Play Retailer Shield and test app rankings and critiques earlier than downloading.

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This Android File Manager App Infected Thousands of Devices with SharkBot Malware

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