A new phone is supposed to be a clean slate. But alarmingly, that’s not always the case these days.
Security researchers from G DATA published a report which indicated that Android phones produced in China were shipped with pre-installed malware and spyware . The researchers at G Data do not believe the manufacturers were responsible for the malware; rather, they suspect a third party within the distribution channels to be the culprits. A report by German security firm G DATA also found that the samples containing such malware had increased by 25 percent in the second quarter of this year.
- Malicious software targeting smartphones with the Android operating system is becoming more and more common, with some handsets already infected when they’re bought in-store.
- Researchers believe the malware is installed by third parties but couldn’t pinpoint their location.
- Affected models include the Xiaomi MI3, Huawei G510, Lenovo S860, Alps A24, Alps 809T, Alps H9001, Alps 2206, Alps PrimuxZeta, Alps N3, Alps ZP100, Alps 709, Alps GQ2002, Alps N9389, Android P8, ConCorde SmartPhone6500, DJC touchtalk, ITOUCH, NoName S806i, SESONN N9500, SESONN P8, Xido X1111, Star N9500, Star N8000 and IceFox Razor.
- The pre-installed spyware, disguised in popular Android apps such as Facebook and Google Drive, are not removable without unlocking the phone since it resides inside the phone’s firmware.
- The spyware is capable of doing the following:
- Listening in to telephone conversations
- Accessing the Internet
- Viewing and copy contacts
- Installing unwanted apps
- Asking for location data
- Taking and copying images
- Recording conversations using the microphone
- Sending and reading SMS/MMS
- Disabling Anti-Virus software
- Listening in to chats via messaging services (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook and Google+)
- Reading the browser history
About Alex Noudelman
Alex Noudelman is a digital marketing expert at iRISEmedia. He received his Honors B.A. from York University and a Masters in Adolescent Education from D’Youville College.