Home / Technology / News /  New Harly malware infects devices, after Joker: Here's how to secure your device

New Harly malware infects devices, after Joker: Here's how to secure your device

Harly is capable of doing all this via a users’ mobile data connection after disconnecting the device from Wi-Fi.Premium
Harly is capable of doing all this via a users’ mobile data connection after disconnecting the device from Wi-Fi.

  • The Harly malware is designed to target users by signing up their accounts with paid subscriptions without their knowledge. Once it arrives on a device, Harly will secretly sign it up for expensive subscriptions which will eventually get added to users’ monthly phone bill.

Harly, a new malware has been infecting devices via Google Play installs, as per a report by MakeUseOf. This malware is named after Harley Quinn, the Joker’s fictional girlfriend from the DC Comics universe. Earlier, the Joker malware was making rounds. The difference between these two malware is that while the Joker malware needed to download the malicious code after landing on the device via legitimate looking apps, the Harly malware carries the malicious code with it and does not depend on being remotely controlled.

How Harly works: Details

This Harly malware is designed to target users by signing up their accounts with paid subscriptions without their knowledge. Once it arrives on a device, Harly will secretly sign it up for expensive subscriptions which will eventually get added to users’ monthly phone bill.

Activating subscriptions to various services can usually be done via SMS verification and phone calls to an automated number and the malware takes advantage of it. The Trojan subscriber workers by opening hidden windows and entering sign-up details and also by intercepting SMS messages to get a hold of the verification codes. It can also make phone calls, says the report.

Harly is capable of doing all this via a users’ mobile data connection after disconnecting the device from Wi-Fi. According to Kaspersky, about 190 different Android apps have been found containing the Harly malware and an estimate puts the downloads at least 4.8 million.

For now, Harly is only configured to work with local Thai telecoms providers but its reach may expand, warns the report.

How to stay safe from Harly malware:

Step 1 Check the reviews of apps before downloading them from Play Store. If the app is fraudulent, then the people who installed it first and got in danger will usually warn others in the reviews and by giving low ratings. So, keep a lookout for reviews and low ratings on the Play Store.

Step 2 Do not install apps you do not actually need to reduce the risk of getting your device infected.

Step 3 Put a sending limit on your phone bill if possible. This way, there is a lower chance of subscription services charging you.

Step 4 Protect your device with a paid antivirus solution.

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