Technology > Security

smartphone/ Photo By kantver via 123RF

 

A brand new smartphone should be clean and free from any malicious software. However, thousands of Android smartphones have been discovered to be shipped out with malware, according to Avast.

Pre-Installed Malicious Software

Android smartphones come in different brands with varying hardware configurations and software design. According to the software security company Avast, several Android mobile devices have been found with pre-installed adware in their software design. There are at least 140 models from different manufacturers, such as Alps, Archos, and ZTE, that were dispatched with an adware, and most of these devices are not certified by Google.

“We are in touch with Google and they are aware of the issue. Google has taken steps to mitigate the malicious capabilities of many app variants on several device models, using internally developed techniques,” stated Avast.

The adware detected in these devices is called Cosiloon that makes an overlay display of an ad on top of a webpage shown in the web browser. The antivirus company said that the adware is difficult to remove since it is introduced in the firmware level and is strongly concealed in the system. Cosiloon in these devices have been actively running for three years and thousands of users have been affected. In the last 30 days. At least 18,000 affected units that belong to Avast users have been located in more than 100 countries including Germany, Italy, Russia, United States, and the United Kingdom.

Further investigation by Avast exposed that the adware showed no sign of infection and came with several package names like:

- com.google.eMediaService

- com.google.eMusic1Service

- com.google.ePlay3Service

- com.google.eVideo2Service

While the updated version of Google Play Protect scans and secures Android devices, the ones infected with Cosiloon remain unsecured since the adware is pre-installed. Google has reached out to the firmware developers and urged them to address the problem.