A new Android malware threat seems to emerge weekly, if not more often, but some are quite a bit scarier than others.
The latest scourge for Google's mobile OS was revealed in a report by cybersecurity firm CloudSEK, and it's got horror movie villain potential as it's resistant to antivirus apps. It can record your calls, steal the data on your phone before encrypting it, and finally, it can lock you out of your phone (via Tom's Guide).
How does the Daam Android malware work?
The reason that Daam is so dangerous, to stick with our horror movie metaphor, is that, like a vampire, it just needs to be invited in — and then it'll drain you for everything your worth. The way it sneaks into your phone is inside sideloaded apps. These are apps that you've downloaded from any source other than the Google Play Store. Sometimes, antivirus apps will detect malware catching a ride onto your phone this way, but unfortunately, that's not the case with Daam.
And once the infected app is installed, Daam has a laundry list of capabilities that all spell disaster for you and your phone. Here's a quick rundown of the malware's capabilities:
- Record any incoming or outgoing calls, even from 3rd party apps like WhatsApp.
- Steal your files, including media and contacts.
- Encrypt your files so that you can't access them.
- Change your device password or PIN to lock you out of your phone.
It's a murderers row of malware features, so let's take a closer look at how to avoid falling victim to it.
Check for these Daam'd apps
The researchers already traced the malware to Psiphon, Boulders, and Currency Pro. They are a VPN, a mobile game, and a currency converter, respectively, so there's no specific theme to the apps that are infected with Daam.
The best way to avoid this particular malware is to stick to downloading apps from the Google Play Store. While we certainly see malware sneaking into Google Play, it's safer than the wild west of installing apps from the open web.
If you've sideloaded any apps recently that didn't come from a source that you are 100% certain is secure, you should consider deleting them just to be safe. While this particular malware is antivirus-proof, we still recommend a good antivirus app to help bolster your security online.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.