Avast experts have identified a number of Android phones sold with malware installed by the manufacturers. According to the security company, hundreds of smartphone models other than ZTE, Archos and myPhone are affected by the practice, which can manifest itself mainly in intrusive and random advertisements.
The professionals also point out that, as the malware is installed on the system itself, removal becomes very difficult, even for users with advanced knowledge.
Chinese ZTE one of those affected by Avast research Photo: Luciana Maline / dnetc
Android Security: Learn how to protect your phone from malicious apps
A user with an affected cell phone in hand would find a series of very invasive advertisements appearing on the screens of the Android interface and not within the scope of any application. According to Avast, if the user gives up an offer and installs an app or game offered by the ads, things can get much worse: installing the offered app can load even more adware (malware targeted at distributing advertisements).
The mechanism for triggering these malicious applications involves triggering a request via the network to install packages from the user's first initialization of the cell phone.
The study also showed that malware is extremely sophisticated. According to Avast, they carry advertising advertising structures used by Google, Facebook and Baidu, and are able to identify the presence of antiviruses installed on the cell phone in which the malware enters a low-activity mode of operation so as not to be detected .
Installed malware behaves like adware on smartphones Photo: Pond5
The distribution of irregular advertisements by adware takes place through an internet connection and Avast claims that it was able to take down the server responsible for distributing this content. However, after a while, a new server went live.
Avast personnel also stated that they contacted Google about the problem. The Mountain View giant's position is to use monitoring and security policies that are part of the Google Play Store to identify these problems and disable malware before they have time to cause damage.
In general, there are good practices for you to avoid headaches and virus infections on your cell phone. The main one is to avoid downloading and installing apps from questionable sources and looking to install new apps only from the official Google store. Another important precaution to run an antivirus on your cell phone from time to time.
How to remove viruses on an Android phone
With information: Avast, Engadget