Malware discovered to be pre-installed on new Android smartphones
Avast, a Czech anti-virus company, posted its findings of malware discovered pre-installed in brand new Android devices, May 24.
The list of affected devices included products by ZTE, Archos and Prestigio. Affected devices were discovered to be not certified by Google, said the company.
The ad related malware, or adware, called Cosiloon, first came to the attention of Russian anti-malware company Dr. Web in 2016. According to the analysis by Avast, the adware has been active since then because no security measures were taken from both firmware developers and device manufacturers. This is also the reason why the adware made it into newer smartphones when other malware have already been addressed in more recent software.
The adware forces users to look at an ad by having it pop up while browsing a site in the default web browser of the user’s phone. The ads often lead users to download malicious apps, which in turn download more apps into the user’s phone
Avast has already coordinated with Google, and Google in turn is working with firmware developers to find a permanent solution to Cosiloon. In the meantime, Google continues to develop solutions internally to safeguard the Google Play Store.
The report also specifies that not all devices from the mentioned brands are affected. A list of affected devices can be found through this link. JB
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