According to recently released findings from GData, a number top Chinese Android smartphone models come pre-installed with malware and spyware. The list includes smartphones from giants like Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi. G Data’s team have made a startling discovery as they found that middlemen are installing such malware to these smartphones.
“In addition to the revenue gained from selling on the mobile device, they try to make additional financial gains from stolen user data and enforced advertising,” say GData’s security experts in the company’s Mobile Malware Report for Q2/2015.
GData believes that manufacturers would in all probability refrain from doing such a thing as it could severely affect their reputation, so this leaves middlemen as the main perpetrators who infect these devices.
After further investigation, GData found that these smartphones are compromised by hiding malware as an add-on code in authentic apps that come pre-installed on these phones. These codes then run in the background within an app making it hard to trace without an antivirus solution. Moreover, even if they are discovered, it fails to solve the problem as these apps are a part of the device’s firmware and cannot be uninstalled.
Researchers further warn users that the malware discovered can compromise a user’s personal details as well, which can be used for other nefarious activities such as hacking social media accounts, emails, and even making fraudulent purchases via a user’s account data.
The list of infected Android devices includes the following devices – Xiaomi MI3, Huawei G510, Lenovo S860, Alps A24, Alps 809T, Alps H9001, Alps 2206, Alps PrimuxZeta, Alps N3, Alps ZP100, Alps 709, Alps GQ2002, Alps N9389, Andorid P8, ConCorde SmartPhone6500, DJC touchtalk, ITOUCH, NoName S806i, SESONN N9500, SESONN P8, and Xido X1111.
GData’s report further highlights some other alarming facts. It notes that malware on Android devices is not anything new, as they have already discovered over a million Android malware samples in during the first half of the calendar year 2015. They go on to say that this year is going to be record breaking year, as they expect to surpass the 1.5 million malware samples detected the previous year.
It’s worth to point out that the devices mentioned above are purchased primarily through third-party websites and not official stores. Hence, awareness should be spread to tackle such instances, especially e-commerce websites selling smartphones which should take countermeasures to reduce the possibility of such events happening in the future.