Tech

Impossible to remove: Android malware found in 20,000 apps

Updated: 2015-11-06
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A new type of Android malware has been uncovered in more than 20,000 apps – and it's impossible to remove. The malware masquerades as popular apps, such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and installs something known as 'troganised adware' onto phones
    
A new type of Android malware has been uncovered in more than 20,000 apps – and it's impossible to remove.
  
The malware masquerades as popular apps, such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and installs something known as 'troganised adware' onto phones.
 
Lookout Security, the mobile security firm who discovered the malware, says users can only get rid of it by replacing their devices entirely.
  
The malware works by repackaging legitimate apps from the Google Play store with adware, and then released it to a third-party store.
 
The problem is that the repackaged apps remain fully functional, and so the malware is difficult to detect.
  
The app will then serve ads, which generates money for the hacker.
  
Although their may function is to display ads, their system-level status also lets them gain access to key security details built into Android. 
  

The app will then serve ads, which generates money for the hacker. Although their may function is to display ads, their system-level status also lets them gain access to key security details built into Android. This can let a hacker gain access to sensitive data about the user
    
This can let a hacker gain access to sensitive data about the user.
 
'Because these pieces of adware root the device and install themselves as system applications, they become nearly impossible to remove, usually forcing victims to replace their device in order to regain normalcy,' said the California-based company in a blog post.
 
Lookout Security said there that users who install apps from Google Play, Android's official app store, are no affected.
 
There are at least three similar adware found - Shuanet, Kemoge and Shudun. Together they've repackaged around 20,000 apps.
 
Currently, the highest detection rates are in the US, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico.
 
'For individuals, getting infected with Shedun, Shuanet, and ShiftyBug might mean a trip to the store to buy a new phone,' Lookout wrote.
 
'Because these pieces of adware root the device and install themselves as system applications, they become nearly impossible to remove, usually forcing victims to replace their device in order to regain normalcy.'
    
SOURCE:
dailymail.co.uk
  
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