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Urgent warning for Android users over dangerous malware that can leave bank accounts empty

Urgent warning for Android users over dangerous malware that can leave bank accounts empty

This malware is just as scary as it sounds.

Android users have been given a stark warning about a new type of malware - one that could completely drain their bank accounts if they're not careful.

It involves a bug on Android called Brokewell, which is disguised as an update for Chrome.

It uses a fake web page to make people think that they need to update their Google browser and fools them into downloading the bug, which can then get easy access to personal and financial data.

The bug, in fact, can take control of the entire phone it's installed on, which is exactly as scary as it sounds.

sarayut Thaneerat / Getty
sarayut Thaneerat / Getty

Brokewell has been described as a "significant threat to the banking industry" by the cybersecurity firm ThreatFabric.

"Brokewell uses overlay attacks, a common technique for Android banking malware, where it overlays a bogus screen on a targeted application to capture user credentials," ThreatFabric explains.

This means waiting until the hackers get to see you typing in vulnerable passwords or codes: "After stealing the credentials, the actors can initiate a device takeover attack using remote control capabilities."

That's somewhat terrifying, and it's a brilliant reminder that you should really stick to only downloading apps or updates from official sources, like the Google Play Store.

While malware can occasionally slip through the gaps, it's still way, way safer than downloading anything directly from the web.

Tero Vesalainen / Getty
Tero Vesalainen / Getty

If you're worried about updating your Chrome app moving forward, just follow the steps below to make sure you do it right:

  1. Open the Play Store app
  2. Tap on your profile icon at the top right of the display
  3. Tap Manage apps and device
  4. Look for the Updates available section and check to see if Chrome is there
  5. If it is, tap on Update next to it

It should be as simple as that to get your browser updated, or to check if it even has an update in the first place, so you can rest easy while being able to ignore any phishing attempts trying to persuade you to use other methods online.

Chrome is your portal to pretty much the entire internet, so it's no surprise to see scammers trying to use it to gain access to people's phones and tablets.

Interestingly, the next few years could see iPhones start to become more like Android devices in this regard, since Apple is being forced to let people use alternative app stores and third-party installation methods - in the EU at least. Hopefully, Brokewell is stopped in its tracks sooner than that.

Featured Image Credit: Pekic / NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty