Analecta Cyber Company Blog: Bad apps: Hackers target Android phones

2015-10-27

Bad apps: Hackers target Android phones

According to a recent report in a local newspaper in Washington, Chinese hackers have been able to infiltrate Android smartphones all over the world. The information comes just over a month after the discovery of compromised jailbroken iPhones also linked to Chinese hackers.



Smartphones across North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia were reportedly accessed by the hackers, according to researchers at a private cybersecurity firm. The hackers used a malicious adware family and called the malware "Kemoge," which is now rapidly spreading around the globe.

Hackers disguised the malware in seemingly legitimate apps. As smartphone users tried to download apps like "Sex Cademy," "Kiss Browser," popular games like "2048" and basic functions like the calculator, the malware is installed on their phones without them knowing.

Hackers upload the malware to apps from third-party app stores and promote the download links via websites and in-app ads, according to the cybersecurity firm. The malware initially collects device information and uploads it to the ad server, which results in annoying ads that pop up periodically regardless of the current activity of the user.

Researchers said the problem worsens over time. It also attempts to uninstall legitimate applications and prompt a complete infestation by the malicious ones. For now, the only continent where it has reportedly yet to reach is Australia , but the malware is still spreading extensively. The malware is also targeting phones used by government officials around the world, representing a significant threat on a global scale.

As a preventive measure, Android users are advised not to click on suspicious links and avoid installing apps outside of official app stores.