Menu
This Android malware can secretly root your phone and install programs

This Android malware can secretly root your phone and install programs

The Godless malware has mainly hit India and other parts of southeast Asia, Trend Micro says

Android users beware: a new type of malware has been found in legitimate-looking apps that can “root” your phone and secretly install unwanted programs.

The malware, dubbed Godless, has been found lurking on app stores including Google Play, and it targets devices running Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and earlier, which accounts for more than 90 percent of Android devices, Trend Micro said Tuesday in a blog post.

Godless hides inside an app and uses exploits to try to root the OS on your phone. This basically creates admin access to a device, allowing unauthorized apps to be installed.

Godless contains various exploits to ensure it can root a device, and it can even install spyware, Trend Micro said.

A newer variant can also bypass security checks at app stores like Google Play. Once the malware has finished its rooting, it can be tricky to uninstall, the security firm said.

Trend Micro said it found various apps in Google Play that contain the malicious code.

"The malicious apps we’ve seen that have this new remote routine range from utility apps like flashlights and Wi-Fi apps, to copies of popular game," the company said.

Some apps are clean but have a corresponding malicious version that shares the same developer certificate. The danger there is that users install the clean app but are then upgraded to the malicious version without them knowing.

godless Trend Micro

Distribution of affected devices

So far, Trend says it has seen 850,000 affected devices, with almost half in India and more in other southeast Asian countries. Less than 2 percent were in the U.S.

"When downloading apps, regardless if it’s a utility tool or a popular game, users should always review the developer. Unknown developers with very little or no background information may be the source of these malicious apps," Trend said.

It's also best to download apps from trusted stores such as Google Play and Amazon, it says. And of course, Trend recommends you buy some mobile security software.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Show Comments