Brand new Smart phones

A new malware instance is discovered every 14 seconds in Android:

android securityWhen you buy a new phone, you expect it to be a clean slate in all ways. Apparently, that is not always the case. Malicious software targeting Android powered smartphones is on a rise, however, what is more alarming is the fact that some Android phones come to you packaged as new but filled with and adware.

We see reports of operating system almost as a daily ritual. While there may be some phishing attempts involved in many types of these attacks, a user cannot do anything if their smartphone is coming prepackaged with malware. Security research firm, G Data, has identified malware installed in over 20 newly bought smartphones. Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, Xido are some of the affected brands that come with some kind of spy or adware pre-installed.

The malware is embedded in one of the legitimate apps that come with a new smartphone, such as the Facebook app. This app then not only is enabled to read and send text messages, but can also install other apps, collect call data, get location information, and record phone calls. Even if a user wants to get rid of the app, it would be impossible as these apps are part of the stock firmware. “You can’t take it off there unless you unlock the phone, ” Andy Hayter of G Data said.

The infection doesn’t appear to be occurring during manufacturing as it seems likely that “Somebody is unlocking the phone and putting the malware on there and relocking the phone, ” claims Hayter.

Many of these devices are sold by third parties in Europe and Asia making it easier for middlemen to install the malware. When G Data contacted Lenovo – whose Android S860 was found plagued with malware – the company responded that the device came from a third-party marketplace and the malware was installed by middlemen. “This is the only such occurrence we have been made aware of. We always recommend customers transact with authorized distribution channels and only accept merchandise that comes in an official box with original factory seals, ” explained Ray Gorman, executive director of external communication at Lenovo.

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