26 Android phones pre-infected with spyware


G Data a German based security company have found that many popular Android smartphone are sold with a shipped spyware for tracking users activity. The malware is hidden on the device with a legitimate application such as Facebook or Google Drive to prevent users from detecting their presence.

Usually when we buy new smartphone the vendor will show these applications as an advantage for usability and how they have advanced application for social network, communication or any other functionality. But this is not the situation with the investigated cases because the malware is installed with the firmware to make it almost impossible to remove without unlocking the device.

Some of the spyware features are:

  • Listening in to telephone conversations
  • Viewing and copy contacts
  • Asking for location data
  • Taking and copying images
  • Recording conversations using the microphone
  • Sending and reading SMS/MMS
  • Disabling AV software and other apps
  • Listening in to chats via messaging services (WhatsApp, Skype, Viber,Facebook, Google+, etc.)
  • Reading the browser history
  • Making purchases, bank fraud and more.

26 models are the total number of infected smartphones and most manufactures are in Europe and Asia such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, Alps, ConCorde, DJC, Sesonn and Xido. actually G Data is not putting the whole responsibility on the smartphone vendors but the third party application developers that created these applications.

The G DATA expect to have over two million new malware sample for the Android operating system for 2015. This means that the number of new malware samples will have doubled within two years.