Android users beware: New scam could steal all your photos

Android users beware, a new vicious hack that leverages Chrome to steal all of your private images has been discovered.

This new chrome attack will steal all your personal photos
© getty_images
This new chrome attack will steal all your personal photos

There's a new Android scam to be aware of, and this time the criminals want complete access to your photo gallery. Users using the Android operating system are being warned about a new scam that steals private and sensitive photographs using a phoney version of the popular Chrome web browser.

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This latest phishing attempt begins with a simple text message claiming that a package has been mailed to the receiver but has not yet arrived. The victim is then directed to a false web page where they are encouraged to download software such as Chrome or the delivery company's Android application.

Targeted photos

Once installed, the bogus apps begin installing the deadly Roaming Mantis virus, which can cause havoc on devices and provide hackers access to sensitive information. Unlike other assaults that attempt to acquire access to banking information, this latest danger goes directly for your photo album, capable of downloading all of your images and albums. According to Kaspersky's security team, hackers can then utilise these photographs for massive financial benefit, which first detected the scam.

Along with many users saving photographs such as passport images and bank card numbers, there's also the possibility of extorting money from the victim if they have more X-rated photos on their devices. Kaspersky explained that Criminals usually have two aims in their mind and said:

One possible scenario is that the criminals steal details from such things as driver’s licences, health insurance cards or bank cards, to sign up for contracts with QR code payment services or mobile payment services. The criminals are also able to use stolen photos to get money in other ways, such as blackmail or sextortion.

Old yet new

The Roaming Mantis isn't a new species; it was initially discovered in Asia in 2018. However, this fresh warning has been issued since the disease appears to be fast spreading across Europe, with France and Germany now being the worst-affected countries. If you're asking whether or not these kinds of attacks are effective, the answer is a resounding yes.

The number of times the bogus programmes have been downloaded has proved that thousands are being tricked every day. In fact, in France alone, the contaminated version of Chrome has been installed over 65,000 times. Speaking about the virus, Kaspersky said:

It has been almost four years since Kaspersky first observed the Roaming Mantis campaign. Since then, the criminal group has continued its attack activities by using various malware families.
In addition, the group has now expanded its geography, adding two European countries to its main target regions. We predict these attacks will continue in 2022 because of the strong financial motivation.

The advice is simple: delete any text messages you're not sure where they came from, and don't download any apps until you're sure they're from a trusted source.

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