According to mobile security firm Skycure, a new form of malware is putting as many as half a billion Android handsets at the risk of "accessibility clickjacking." This is a method that tricks smartphone users into clicking on something that appears to be benign, but could actually be opening up a phone for hackers. It requires a malicious website to load what appears to be a non-threatening website with an invisible overlay from another service.
The clickjacking can allow a hacker to steal all text based sensitive information, and take actions using the operating system or apps that were not approved or not even known by the phone's owner. Personal and work SMS would be at risk along with "personal and work emails, data from messaging apps, sensitive data on business applications such as CRM software, marketing automation software and more."
Once accessibility has been enabled, the hacker can change admin permissions and even enable a new Device Admin. This could allow the hacker to disable the passcode or even remotely wipe the device.
To see this "clickjacking" in action, check out the video at the bottom of this story. It shows a free game called 'Rick and Morty.' Clicks made during the game are actually activating an invisible layer of the OS. Finishing the game means that the victim's phone has given accessibility permissions for a number of features.
65% of Android devices, those running Android 2.2 to 4.4, are vulnerable. Once your device has been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop, this particular malware issue is no longer a threat.
To fight back, Skycure suggests updating to the newest Android OS build as soon as possible. Do not click on dialogue boxes unless you are sure you know where they came from, and why they appeared on your screen. Do not use third party app stores, and download a mobile threat defense app. Open "Settings," go to "Accessibility" settings and make sure there is either no group named "Services," or that the group has no enabled entries.