Android Malware Hides as MS Word File, Sends Data To Hacker


Short Bytes: Attackers are now using an android malware app which camouflages itself as a Microsoft Word document. The malware once triggered, scans all of the smartphone’s data and sends it to the hacker via email. The Android malware doesn’t uninstall easily as well.

Malware is one of the oldest tricks of attacking and stealing data by the hackers. Be it the malware that deletes your chrome browser to replace it with a fake one or a custom made malware which make ATMs vomit cash, but the end result is never pretty for the victims.

Zscaler analysts have exposed a malware that hides in the plain sight as it disguises itself as MS Word document while tricking the users to open it. The researchers are calling it a Windows era attack when attackers would use persuasive names of the malware hidden files.

The Android malware reaches the phone once the user has downloaded the apps from any unofficial source. The malware makes an MS word file icon on the home screen which the unwitting users open in curiosity. However, an error message pops out reading “Installation errors, this software is not compatible with the phone.”

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The opening of the MS Word file triggers the malware which scans the phone for SMSes, IMEI number, SIM card number, the contacts, basically every sensitive information and quietly emails it to the attacker. Also, the attacker can use the victim’s phone to call anyone using a special SMS containing the phone number of the receiver.

The beauty of this Android malware is that the victim will have no clue of the attack. As the app has administrator’s access while installing, it will not be deleted through usual means.

So, if you have or know anyone affected by this Android malware, just boot the phone in safe mode and deactivate the app using the following procedure.

Go to Settings –> Security –> Device Administrator, and uninstall the malicious app via Settings –> Apps –> Uninstall.

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Aashish Sharma

Aashish Sharma

Racing towards the dream - however, he's just a ping away - find him at Facebook or send him an email.
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