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Over 14% Indians Affected by ‘Shopper’ Malware: Report

After the screen is unlocked, the app launches, gathers information about the victim's device and sends it to the attacker's servers. The server returns the commands for the application to execute

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A new Trojan application is boosting popular shopping app ratings and installations and spreading ads that annoy users and over 14 percent Indians have been affected by this malware dubbed as “Shopper”, researchers from global cybersecurity and anti-virus brand Kaspersky said on Sunday.

The highest share of users infected by “Trojan-Dropper. AndroidOS.Shopper.a” from October to November 2019 was in Russia, with a staggering 28.46 per cent of all users affected by the shopaholic app located in the country. Almost a fifth (18.70 per cent) of infections were in Brazil and 14.23 per cent in India.

“Despite the fact that at the moment, the real danger stemming from this malicious app is limited to unsolicited ads, fake reviews and ratings issued in the name of the victim, no one can guarantee that the creators of this malware will not change their payload to something else,” Igor Golovin, Malware Analyst at Kaspersky, said in a statement.

For now, the focus of this malicious app is on retail, but its capabilities enable attackers to spread fake information via users’ social media accounts and other platforms.

The Trojan, dubbed “Shopper”, first drew the attention of researchers following its extensive obfuscation and use of the Google Accessibility Service.

The service enables users to set a voice to read out app content and automate interaction with the user interface — designed to help people with disabilities. However, in the hands of attackers this feature presents a serious threat to the device owner.

“The malware could automatically share videos containing whatever the operators behind Shopper would want on personal pages of users accounts and just flood the internet with unreliable information,” added GOlovin.

Smartphone
There was 54 per cent increase in data breaches in 2019 as compared to 2018 and 2020 will see significant rise in the number of Smartphone-focused malware and banking Trojans, a new report has predicted. Pixabay

According to the researchers, once the Trojan has the permission to use the service, it can gain almost unlimited opportunities to interact with the system interface and applications. It can capture data featured on the screen, press buttons and even emulate user gestures.

It is not known yet how the malicious application is being spread, however, researchers at Kaspersky assume that it may be downloaded by device owners from fraudulent ads or third-party app stores while trying to get a legitimate application.

Surprisingly, the app masks itself as a system application and uses a system icon named “ConfigAPKs” in order to hide itself from the user.

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After the screen is unlocked, the app launches, gathers information about the victim’s device and sends it to the attacker’s servers. The server returns the commands for the application to execute.

Notably, depending on the commands, the app can use a device owner’s Google or Facebook account to register on popular shopping and entertainment such as AliExpress, Lazada, Zalora, Shein, Joom, Likee and Alibaba, leave application reviews in Google Play on behalf of the device owner, check the rights to use the Accessibility Service and if permission is not granted, it sends a phishing request for them.

The app can also turn off Google Play Protect — a feature that runs a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store before they are downloaded, and open links received from the remote server in an invisible window and hide itself from the app menu after a number of screens are unblocked. (IANS)

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60% Indians Do Not Wear Right Shoes to Gym: Reebok

Sixty five per cent of people in India are aware about the difference between a running and training shoe

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71% of women use same shoes for running as gym, while overall atleast 40% use separate pair for gym from running. Pixabay

Sixty five per cent of people in India are aware about the difference between a running and training shoe, yet when asked close to 60 per cent of those people do not wear the right shoes to the gym, says a new survey by fitness brand Reebok.

The survey shows that more than 80 per cent people workout at least every alternate day. However, only 73 per cent of that set own specific shoes for gym.

71% of women use same shoes for running as gym, while overall atleast 40% use separate pair for gym from running, it says.

Gym shoes
In an effort to better understand the fitness consumer, Reebok rolled out a survey to understand the awareness amongst consumers about the right shoes that should be worn to the gym. Pixabay

Women were more likely to spurge on shoes in 1k-5k category. However, men were more likely to buy shoes frequently than women, says the survey.

In an effort to better understand the fitness consumer, the brand rolled out a survey to understand the awareness amongst consumers about the right shoes that should be worn to the gym. It was conducted on consumers across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

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The survey revealed that men tend to buy shoes more frequently than women, and when women do buy shoes, it is in the range of 1K- 5K. If you are one of those gym goers who splurge on their shoes, you are a part of a mere 6 per cent of the total universe.

Industry experts have agreed that wearing the right gear is as important as the workout itself. However, the survey brought out an alarming truth that close to 40 per cent of people are unaware about the difference between running and training shoes. (IANS)