A new upgrade to an Android malware called Chameleon has Android users worried. While the malware can wreak havoc on your device by stealing your information, you can take a few easy steps to protect yourself.

What Is Chameleon Android Malware?

First noticed in early 2023, the Chameleon Android malware is a trojan banking app. A trojan is a software that hides in other computer code and gains access to your computer. Because it’s a banking trojan, it was initially hidden in seemingly valid banking apps you use on your mobile phone.

How Do You Get the Malware?

The malware attaches to valid Android apps such as Chrome. It can bypass Google’s protective functions and even provides the same services as the original app, allowing it to act without suspicion. On later Android operating systems that use high-quality app permissions, the malware redirects you to an HTML (browser) page to request access.

Dangers of the Chameleon Android Malware

What are the dangers of this Android malware? It can perform the following operations:

  • Fingerprint unlock disabling: The latest version of the malware includes the ability to disable your fingerprint and face unlock features so that hackers can access your device.
  • PIN theft: After the biometric operations interruption, the malware can obtain the PINs you use to access your phone and other apps.
  • Overlay attacks: An overlay attack opens up a fake window that looks and functions like the intended app but can steal any information you enter into it.
  • Service abuse: It can use the device’s accessibility service (which gives specific permissions, like speech-to-text, to individual apps) to gain further access to your device.
  • Restricted settings bypass: Even on devices with Android 13 or later, the malware can bypass these restrictions.
  • App usage assessment: The malware takes data about when you use your phone the most and mounts attacks when you’re least likely to notice, such as when you’re sleeping.

How To Protect Yourself

With such advanced malware waiting to infect your mobile device, you’re probably wondering how to protect yourself. Fortunately, the most effective protection is easy: don’t download apps from any place other than the Google Play Store.

Another important practice is not enabling accessibility permissions for unknown or suspicious apps. If you must enable these features to use the app, do so in your device’s settings and not any browser window that prompts the permission.

Dealing With the Malware

If you believe your device already has Android malware, you have a few options for how you remove the software. First, remove the suspected application from your device. Next, if you don’t have any advanced anti-virus software on your mobile device, install one. Run the program to identify the malware and viruses affecting your device. By doing this, you should fix the problem and protect your device.


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