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Malware Found Preinstalled On 38 Android Phones Used By 2 Companies (arstechnica.com) 54

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: An assortment of malware was found on 38 Android devices belonging to two unidentified companies. This is according to a blog post published Friday by Check Point Software Technologies, maker of a mobile threat prevention app. The malicious apps weren't part of the official ROM firmware supplied by the phone manufacturers but were added later somewhere along the supply chain. In six of the cases, the malware was installed to the ROM using system privileges, a technique that requires the firmware to be completely reinstalled for the phone to be disinfected. Most of the malicious apps were info stealers and programs that displayed ads on the phones. One malicious ad-display app, dubbed "Loki," gains powerful system privileges on the devices it infects. Another app was a mobile ransomware title known as "Slocker," which uses Tor to conceal the identity of its operators. Check Point didn't disclose the names of the companies that owned the infected phones. Padon said it's not clear if the two companies were specifically targeted or if the infections were part of a broader, more opportunistic campaign. The presence of ransomware and other easy-to-detect malware seems to suggest the latter. Check Point also doesn't know where the infected phones were obtained. One of the affected parties was a "large telecommunications company" and the other was a "multinational technology company."
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Malware Found Preinstalled On 38 Android Phones Used By 2 Companies

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Then most likely it's yet another case of three-letter agencies doing it. They're not exactly fond of things that remove their rootkits after all.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I realize the extra physical exertion of a "swipe" versus a "tap" is just too much work for some, but at least I know my credit card doesn't come with malware preinstalled.

    • RFID chip might qualify. I'm not sure how much truth is in the claim they can be read by simply walking past you, but /me thinks they aren't totally secure.

  • Strange (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I thought all Android phones had spyware pre-installed by Google.

  • by weedjams ( 4349793 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @07:44AM (#54017515) Journal
    Buying devices, opening them up and altering them, then returning to store has been popular for decades. Is called 'pre-p0wnd'.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by demonlapin ( 527802 )
      Yeah, wipe-and-reinstall (while connected to a guest network) is a necessity with preowned/open box items.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "We won't name the companies or devices"... because this is a FUD driven ad campaign for our services.

      So obvious.

  • Lookout (Score:4, Informative)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @11:32AM (#54018061)
    My MetroPCS ZTE ZMAX Pro came with Lookout preinstalled and it has been a pretty good app. I'm hoping that I won't pick up a piece of malware but Android and iOS are moving targets. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.
  • ???

    This is getting old.

    I don't care if it's old, I just want want something that handle simple daily tasks and doesn't have 500 backdoors and 5000 agencies/hackers spying on it.

  • I'd think it'd be nice to know what companies and models it pertains to. A lot of people trust their phones for things like banking. I don't but I'm a little paranoid about money.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ulefones was found to have malware in the official stock rom in 9/2016, including the official downloadeble updates, and "only" took them 2 months to remove it. :/

    But for sub $100 phones with all these feature where can you expect they are cutting corners.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.