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Android Mobile Malware: 38 Devices Have Pre-Installed Malicious Software

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Check Point found malware lurking on mobiles form a major tech firm and a telecoms company

Pre-installed malware has been identified on 38 Android devices provided by a large telecom company and a multinational technology firm.

Security specialist Check Point discovered the infection which involved malicious software such as the Loki malware and mobile ransomware Slocker, with the majority of malware being information sealing software and rough advert networks.

Hidden deep

android-evilCheck Point noted that the malware it not part of the official ROM used by the companies, which it did not name, in the devices they supply. This indicates that somewhere along the supply chain malware has been installed on the devices before they have reached their end-users.

Given the malware was installed be a malicious actor using the device’s system privileges, a user wild not be able to remove infected apps without needing to flash the device and losing all their data they have on it.

Mobile malware is hardly uncommon and people are advised on being very careful with what they download to their devices and to only use trusted apps on official app stores. However, in this instance such precautions are rendered moot as the user gets an infected device even if they purse best practices when it comes to mobile cyber security.

“Pre-installed malware compromise the security even of the most careful users. In addition, a user who receives a device already containing malware will not be able to notice any change in the device’s activity which often occur once a malware is installed,” said Oren Koriat from the Check Point Mobile Research Team.

“The discovery of the pre-installed malware raises some alarming issues regarding mobile security. Users could receive devices which contain backdoors or are rooted without their knowledge. To protect themselves from regular and pre-installed malware, users should implement advanced security measures capable of identifying and blocking any abnormality in the device’s behaviour.”

With criminals being found to be making increasing use of technology to commit crimes, it is no great surprise that mobile devices turn up infected with malware or that numerous Android apps contain malicious code hidden within them.

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