The number one smartphone Operating System – Android has been said to have preinstalled malwares in it. This comes from data security expert after critical research.
Android’s Operating System allows for more affordable alternatives for millions of people, but it also makes it easier for hackers to sneak in prepackaged malware into the OS.
This malware has the ability to take over devices and download apps in the background while committing ad fraud, researchers working for Google found.
Unlike Android smartphones, Apple another smartphone giant has full control over its iPhone, preinstalled malware isn’t much of a concern for its operating system iOS, or the App Store.
Though major smartphone makers using android OS like Samsung and LG are free from such pretty-installed malwares, budget phone makers who rely on third-party software for cheaper rates could be vulnerable. Attackers offer genuine services, and hide the malware in the apps they provide.
Maddie Stone, Google’s security researcher on Google’s Project Zero and previously a tech lead on Android security team shared her team’s findings at Black Hat on Thursday.
“If malware or security issues come as preinstalled apps,” she warned, “then the damage it can do is greater, and that’s why we need so much reviewing, auditing and analysis” She said.
At Black Hat Cyber Security conference in Las Vegas on Thursday August 8, 2019 Stone discussed her research implying that preinstalled malware are threats that security researchers aren’t often focused on, since attention is usually directed toward malware that victims download on their own.
And making the matter worse, preinstalled malwares are harder to find and even harder to get rid of unlike downloaded malwares.
Android’s security team discovered two major malware agendas hidden in preinstalled apps over the last three years, one called Chamois and the other called Triada.
These malwares jointly infected tens of millions of low-budget Android devices from the moment they were shipped out. Google did not specify which phones were affected.
Since preinstalled malwares are approved and installed by the phone makers whether knowingly or unknowingly, antivirus programs don’t flag them as harmful, even if an app is behaving exactly like malware would.
These malware apps have extreme permission and cannot be removed unless the phone makers run security update, Stone said.
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