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Offbeat Report finds Android malware pre-installed on hundreds of phones

17:36  24 may  2018
17:36  24 may  2018 Source:   engadget.com

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That's actually the case with hundreds of different smartphones, according to Avast Thread Labs. The researchers found adware installed on devices not certified by Google from It's one of the bigger scandals related to malware installed on Android devices, however, and might affect a lot more users.

In November, researchers found a secret backdoor installed on hundreds of thousands of Android devices manufactured by BLU. Friday's report shows why it's never a bad idea to scan a new Android device for malware , especially if the device is obtained through low-cost channels.

a hand holding a cellphone © Provided by Engadget Even if you're careful about avoiding sketchy websites and apps, there's nothing you can do if your smartphone has malware built in. That's actually the case with hundreds of different smartphones, according to Avast Thread Labs.

The researchers found adware installed on devices not certified by Google from manufacturers like ZTE, Archos and myPhone. Users with affected phones will see popup ads and other annoying problems, and because the adware is installed on a firmware level, it's incredibly difficult to remove.

This isn't the first time we've seen bad apps pre-installed, as Lenovo famously shipped the "Superfish" malware with brand new PCs. It's one of the bigger scandals related to malware installed on Android devices, however.

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Some phones were found to have preinstalled malware , even before the user receives it. Here is how you can tackle preinstalled malware on your Android phone . A Samsung Galaxy phone infected with pre - installed malware wasn’t the fault of Samsung themselves, for instance.

A list of malware infected Android devices has been released, after a commercial scanner found instances of malware preinstalled on 38 phones . In November, researchers found a secret backdoor installed on hundreds of thousands of Android devices manufactured by BLU.

There are a couple of different variants of the Android malware APKs, but they work much the same. The infected apps, called droppers, are installed in a hidden way in a list of system applications in the settings. First, they download a small file called a manifest that tells the app what to download. Then, it downloads and installs an APK from an URL found in the manifest, and installs it. Finally, it starts the payload service.

The payload APK contains Google, Facebook and Baidu ad frameworks. It is able to detect any antivirus software, and will "hold back any suspicious actions in this case," said Avast. If not, it will show popup ads for sketchy games while you surf on your default browser. That is already a big nuisance, but could get a lot worse if you actually installed any of the games.

North Korean Hackers Spying on Defectors

  North Korean Hackers Spying on Defectors <p>Hackers with alleged ties to North Korea are “actively” using mobile malware to spy on the Android devices used by defectors, cybersecurity company McAfee has revealed.</p>Spread using social media networks including Facebook, new research suggests that the suspected culprits—a hacking group codenamed “Sun Team”—are using the mobile malware to steal sensitive information including personal photos, contact lists and text messages. To date it is a highly-targeted campaign, with the rogue applications infecting approximately 100 victims via Google Play.

A list of malware infected Android devices has been released, after This isn’t the first time Android phones have been shipped preinstalled with apps that can In November, researchers found a secret backdoor installed on hundreds of thousands of Android devices manufactured by BLU.

In November, researchers found a secret backdoor installed on hundreds of thousands of Android devices manufactured by BLU. Friday’s report shows why it’s never a bad idea to scan a new Android device for malware , especially if the device is obtained through low-cost channels.

The top countries affected are Russia, Italy, Germany, the UK and France. Avast managed to disable the dropper server via takedown requests, but it was quickly restored using another provider. The adware servers are still operating, and lots of users have complained about it, the company notes.

Avast contacted Google, which "has taken steps to mitigate the malicious capabilities of many app variants on several device models, using internally developed techniques," said the company. Specifically, Google Play Protect should automatically disable the dropper and the payload, if it's available.

Another solution, of course, is to use mobile antivirus software that Avast offers (or another antivirus app, we presume). That should uninstall the payload, but you'll have to manually go into your settings to disable the dropper. For more information about how to do that, check here.


Samsung reportedly plans Galaxy Note 9 announcement on August 9th .
<p>We’re still months away from getting to the next burst of 2018 flagship phones, but a report from Bloomberg this afternoon says one of the biggest of those phones may come sooner than expected.</p>If that happens, it’d give Samsung more of a head start against this year’s iPhones. Last year, the Note 8 only went on sale after the iPhone 8 and X had been announced in September, which could have depressed sales by losing would-be buyers to Apple’s new tech. Supposedly, Samsung had actually be hoping to announce the Note 9 even sooner this year, but a report earlier this week said that it was delayed from July due to last-minute design changes.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/offbeat/-147884-report-finds-android-malware-pre-installed-on-hundreds-of-phones/

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