Malware targets Android smartphones again

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 11 March 2017, 21:35 hrs, UTC, Post #138.

Source:

https://arstechnic.com/security/2017/03/preinstalled-malware-targets-android-users-of-two-companies/

Accessed on 11 March 2017, 21:35 hrs, UTC.

Reporter;  Dan Goodin.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

This is a bad year for Android smartphone users.  According to Check Point Software Technologies, 38 models of Android smartphones with preloaded malware have been distributed to two unidentified companies.  The report says the phones were modified after they were shipped from originating factories.  The modified smartphones come from these manufacturers:  Galaxy, LG, Xiaomi, ZTE, OPPO, Nexus, and Lenovo.

According to “Ars Technica” correspondent Dan Goodin, tampering with Android smartphones has happened before:

“This isn’t the first time Android phones have been shipped preinstalled with apps that can surreptitiously siphon sensitive user data to unknown parties. In November, researchers found a secret backdoor installed on hundreds of thousands of Android devices manufactured by BLU. A few days later, a separate research team uncovered a different backdoor on more than 3 million Android devices from BLU and other manufacturers. In those cases, however, the backdoors were previously unknown, and, in the latter case, they were intended to deliver legitimate over-the-air updates.”

“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. Reputable malware scanners such as those from Lookout, Check Point, or Malwarebytes are all suitable. Most such apps can be used to scan a phone without having to pay a subscription. Although who sold or supplied the 38 phones Check Point found infected is unknown, another general rule is to avoid low-cost resellers. Instead, buy from a trusted store or website.”

Opinion:

Based on the evidence revealed by this Check Point Software Technologies report, I would avoid all Android smartphone models described in this article. We have enough spying, espionage, and data theft as it is without buying a smartphone with damaging malware already installed.  Buyer beware.

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Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

https://hawaiiintelligencedigest.com

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