Dec 02, 2016 05:14 AM EST | By Darlene A.
An alarming Android malware called "Gooligan" has been infected in almost 1.3 million smartphones and counting.
An Israeli cyber security firm Check Point Software announced two days ago that they have discovered a new malware that succeeded in infecting almost 1.3 million of devices worldwide and having access to user's Google account including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos and other services and apps linked to the account.
"Gooligan" is not your ordinary virus that could easily erase and damage your files. This virus steals the user's email addresses and authentication codes allowing the hackers to buy and download numerous apps which they benefit financially by rating on Google Play in behalf of the user. And not just that, it also installs adware which charges an additional cost to its victims.
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The malware is said to affect those devices with version 4 Android OS such as Ice Cream, Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, and even Lollipop. There was no confirmation yet if the virus may also infect the latest OS version Marshmallow and Nougat.
In an estimate, "Gooligan" affects almost 13,000 devices with automatic downloads of more than 30,000 apps daily and the increasing number has been very alarming. In a statement of Checkpoint executive Michael Shaulov, "This theft of over a million Google account details is very alarming and represents the next stage of cyber-attacks."
To prevent the "Gooligan" virus from affecting your Android devices, avoid installing a third-party app markets and disable the "Allow Unknown Source Installation" in the Settings of your devices.
Meanwhile, if you need to verify if your device has been infected by "Gooligan", Check Point is offering a free online tool to check if your account has been hacked. Once confirmed of having infected with the virus, you should visit a certified technician or your mobile service provider to clean your device's operating system.
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