New Malware Targeting Cheap Android Devices

If you are an Android-based device user, be careful of new types of malware threats. Not long ago it was discovered that software contained pre-installed malware content on 7.4 million mobile-based Google OS devices (IB Times Singapore, 10 August 2019).

Maddie Stone, a cybersecurity researcher at Google’s Project Zero, said at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas that the malware was found in inexpensive devices using third-party software (vendors).

“If malware can infiltrate devices in the form of pre-installed applications, the damage it will cause will be greater.” Maddie added, “That is why we really need to do a review, audit, and analysis.”

These applications have influenced millions of Android devices and have an extraordinary ability to be able to turn off the Google Play Protect feature to freely spy on the activities of its users.

“If the malware has been able to infiltrate the device supply chain data, then it will immediately infect users of the number of devices that are sold. That is very scary and I hope that more researchers will be willing to join us to observe this.” Maddie added.

Some say that some companies which are official partners of Android, such as Samsung, LG, and Google’s Pixel devices are most likely to have their device safe from pre-installed malware attacks. Cheap Android phones / devices seem to be more vulnerable.

But don’t worry, here are easy steps recommended by cybersecurity company Malwarebytes to protect your device from malware attacks, i.e.

> Always update the system, browsers, and plugins used
> Activate click-to-play plugins
> Get rid of unused software
> Monitor incoming email to prevent data theft via social media (phishing attack)
> Don’t be fooled to call a fake technical service (tech support) number when the device has a problem, it’s better to go to an official counter
> Never trust any offer from an unknown caller

In addition there are some basic steps that must be consistently done such as using strong passwords or using password managers, making sure to use a secure internet network, and always log out after every access to a website.

Protect your device by purchasing security software and layering it again with firewall protection, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, and anti-exploit technology.