Alert about the existence of 9 million Android phones with pre-installed viruses: are you among those affected?

Alert about the existence of 9 million Android phones with pre-installed viruses: are you among those affected?

2023-05-24 01:08:17

No matter how careful you are, your smart devices are never free from the risk of being hacked. It does not matter if you pay close attention to all the suspicious emails and SMS that you receive every day on your phone, because in some cases, it may even have reached your hands infected. So, from the factory.

Recently, researchers from the cybersecurity company TrendMicro they have alerted about the existence of at least 9 million Android ‘smartphones’ that reach the user previously infected, predictably, due to a cyberattack on a global distribution company for these devices.

«There are about fifty brands affected. The entire spectrum of companies that create Android phones practically“, explains David Sancho, a Trend Micro researcher, in conversation with ABC, who also points out that the previously infected devices “come like this from the factory due to, or an attack on the manufacturing company or a security breach in a major distributor within the component supply chain.

According to the cybersecurity company, the terminals are infected with a Trojan called Guerrillaa malicious code that is exploited with the aim of displaying malvertising to the user.

Thanks to Guerrilla, criminals can intercept incoming SMS on the device or make fake ‘spam’ posts on social media or WhatsApp of the victim. In addition, while browsing, it is capable of displaying the advertising that the criminals want on the web pages that the Internet user visits, and it can download additional applications to the mobile.

According to Trend Micro, the phones affected by the ‘hack’ are distributed throughout the world, specifically, in more than 180 countries, and belong to all kinds of brands that have Android as their operating system. They estimate the number to be 8.9 million, although it could be many more.

The most affected countries are, in this order, the United States, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia and South Africa. Although Spain does not appear on the list, Trend Micro points out that 3.85% of the ‘smartphones’ affected are in Europe, so It cannot be ruled out that our country has been affected.

Regarding security measures to protect yourself from this type of threat, as we have said, there is not much the user can do, since the terminal is already infected when it is purchased at the store on duty. Sancho points out that “in case you see that the phone behaves strangely, that it downloads applications on its own or you see publications that you have not shared on social networks, the best thing you can do is resort to a good antivirus to detect the problem and remove it.”

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