Security researchers announced that a new type of malware strain – Gooligan – might have accessed more than 1 million Google accounts over several months in 2016.
Gooligan infects Android device users who unknowingly download apps from third-party stores or through visiting malicious links sent through SMS or email messages.
Once Gooligan is set-up on a device, it sends data to a command and control (C&C) server.
A rootkit software that can take sensitive information from the device is then downloaded onto the device.
The rootkit software is then able to take data, such as email logins and authorisation tokens, from the infected device.
According to reports, a majority of known infections can be found in Asia; however, almost 20% of known Gooligan infections can be traced to North and South America.
Gooligan targets Android users who download apps from third-party stores or visit malicious links from SMS or email.
Security authorities have compiled a list of the known infected apps and have sent it to Google.
Google, on the other hand, said they have taken numerous steps to protect their users and improve the overall security of the Android ecosystem.
This type of cybercriminal activity is not something new as Trend Micro security experts have identified and studied similar strains with similar methods earlier this year.
Android device users can lower their chances of being infected by Gooligan and similar malware by staying away from unsecure third-party app stores, and by not clicking on links on SMS or emails sent by unknown or malicious sources.
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