March 11, 2017

"A commercial malware scanner used by businesses has recently detected an outbreak of malware that came preinstalled on more than three dozen Android devices."

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. by Dan Goodin

'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.

'"This finding proves that, even if a user is extremely careful, never clicks a malicious link, or downloads a fishy app, he can still be infected by malware without even knowing it," Check Point Mobile Threat Researcher Daniel Padon told Ars. "This should be a concern for all mobile users."

'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.'

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