How to prevent hackers from hacking your Android device and stealing banking information


You may think that using your fingerprint or face to unlock your phone is more secure than using a personal identification number (PIN).

But you could be wrong. Hackers have developed sophisticated Android malware that can disable your biometric security and steal your PIN and data.

What is Chameleon Android banking malware?

The malware is known as the Chameleon Android banking Trojan. It was first discovered earlier this year. The Trojan can imitate legitimate applications and trick you into granting them permissions. Once it has access to your device, it can monitor your activity and intercept your credentials.

How does malware bypass the restricted setting feature?

Malware can also bypass the security measure introduced in Android 13. This security measure, called the “Restricted Setting Feature,” lets you control which apps can access certain settings and features on your device. This feature was supposed to prevent hackers from using the restricted setting feature to take control of your device. According to BleepingComputer, malware can use clever technology to trick you into giving it permission to use the restricted setting feature without your consent. This means that malware can take control of your device and even disable your fingerprint or face scanning.

Trojan malware can imitate real applications in order to secure your login credentials. Getty Images

How does malware steal your money?

The malware can then display a fake lock screen and ask you to enter your PIN. If you do this, the malware will capture your PIN and unlock your device. It can then access your banking apps and other sensitive information. It can also send money to hackers' accounts or purchase goods online without your knowledge.

Phishing malware can ask you to change your accessibility settings and force you to enter a personal identification number (PIN).

This new and improved version of the Chameleon Android banking Trojan will open an HTML page, asking for your permission to change your accessibility settings. It will then abuse your accessibility features until your phone forces you to enter your PIN.

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You probably don't notice it either. Chameleon uses a platform called Zombinder to attach malware to innocent apps. It can also schedule tasks. So, once a hacker knows your schedule, they can run the Trojan when your phone would normally be inactive.

The malware can trick Android users into giving up their security PIN on their phones. Getty Images

How to protect your Android device

1) The biggest way to protect yourself is to only use legitimate app stores, such as the Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, or Samsung Galaxy Store. Downloading applications directly from the web, or sideloading, presents a large number of security risks. You usually can't see everything a file might contain, and it's easy for hackers to hide malware.

2) Google is constantly working on ways to mitigate such threats. Make sure you are using the latest version of Android.

3) You must have a good antivirus program. One of the most important steps to protect your Android device from the Chameleon banking Trojan and other malware is to install and update reliable antivirus software. Having good antivirus software actively running on your devices will alert you to the presence of any malware in your system, warn you against clicking on any malicious links in phishing emails, and ultimately protect you from getting hacked. Find my review of the best antivirus protection here.

A reliable antivirus is the best defense against Android malware. Getty Images

What should you do if your data is compromised?

If malware has already invaded your device, you must take immediate action to minimize the damage and secure your device. Here are some steps you can follow:

Change your passwords

The Chameleon banking Trojan can use a keylogger to record your passwords as you type them on your Android device. This can give hackers access to your online accounts and personal or financial information. To prevent this, you should change your passwords for all your important accounts as soon as possible. However, you should not do this on your infected device, because the hacker may see your new passwords. Instead, you should use another device, such as a laptop or desktop, to change your passwords. Make sure to use strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess or crack. You can also use a Password manager To create your own passwords and store them securely.

You should check your accounts and online transactions regularly for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. If you notice anything unusual, inform your provider or authorities as soon as possible. You should also review your credit reports and scores for signs of this Identity theft Or fraud.

If you suspect that your Android device has been hacked, you should change your passwords immediately. Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Use identity theft protection

The Chameleon banking Trojan can capture everything you type on your Android device, including your personal and financial information. Hackers can use this information to create fake accounts in your name, access your existing accounts and pretend to be you online. This can cause serious damage to your identity and credit score.

To avoid this risk, you should use identity theft protection services. These services can track your personal information, such as your home address, Social Security number (SSN), phone number, and email address, and notify you if they detect any suspicious activity. They can also help you freeze your bank and credit card accounts to prevent hackers from using them. Read more about my review of the best identity theft protection services here.

Use identity protection services to strengthen your defense against malware. Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Contact your bank and credit card companies

If hackers get your bank or credit card information, they can use it to make purchases or withdrawals without your consent. You should contact your bank and credit card companies and inform them of the situation. They can help you freeze or cancel your cards, dispute any fraudulent charges, and issue you new cards

Alert your contacts

If hackers gain access to your email or social media accounts, they can use them to send spam or phishing messages to your contacts. They can also impersonate you and ask for money or personal information. You should alert your contacts and warn them not to open or respond to any messages from you that appear suspicious or unusual.

Restore your device to factory settings

If you want to make sure that your device is completely free of any malware or spyware, you can restore it to factory settings. This will erase all your data and settings and reinstall the original Android version. You should back up your important data before doing this, and only restore it from a trusted source.

Key takeaways for Kurt

Although threats like Chameleon banking malware attacks are scary, it's important to remember that you can protect yourself. Besides using official app stores, antivirus software, and the latest version of Android, you should also avoid downloading any apps that are not available on trusted platforms. Downloading apps from unknown sources can expose your device to malware and hackers. You should never risk your Android's security by downloading apps.

Have you or someone you know encountered any banking malware issues on your Android device? We are interested in hearing about your experiences and any precautions you have taken to protect your personal information. Share your story by writing to us on

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