Android warning: Dangerous malware discovered pre-installed on these smartphones

They are some of the most popular smartphones around, but it seems that many Android devices have dangerous malware pre-installed in them.

In a new case study, Google has revealed the clever ways that hackers managed to get the malware, dubbed ‘Triada’, onto the devices.

The hackers devised a method to get the malware on the phones virtually at the factory, meaning it was on the smartphones before they were even unboxed.

Their tactics rely on the fact that many smartphone manufacturers use third party vendors to build features for them - who hackers can then target.

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Lukasz Siewierski, a reverse engineer at Google, explained: “The methods Triada used were complex and unusual for these types of apps.

“Triada apps started as rooting Trojans, but as Google Play Protect strengthened defences against rooting exploits, Triada apps were forced to adapt, progressing to a system image backdoor.”

While Google doesn’t reveal which devices were affected, a report by Dr. Web suggests that around 40 smartphones were vulnerable - and they’re not the most popular devices.

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Smartphones affected include the Leagoo M5 Plus, Nomu S10, Cherry Mobile Flare S5 and Doogee X5 Max. Scroll down for the full list

Thankfully, Google has several malware scanning services in its Google Play Services, that can help to flag any malware on your device.

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Mr Siewierski added: “The Triada case is a good example of how Android malware authors are becoming more adept. This case also shows that it’s harder to infect Android devices, especially if the malware author requires privilege elevation.”

Which smartphones are affected?

Leagoo M5
Leagoo M5 Plus
Leagoo M5 Edge
Leagoo M8
Leagoo M8 Pro
Leagoo Z5C
Leagoo T1 Plus
Leagoo Z3C
Leagoo Z1C
Leagoo M9
ARK Benefit M8
Zopo Speed 7 Plus
UHANS A101
Doogee X5 Max
Doogee X5 Max Pro
Doogee Shoot 1
Doogee Shoot 2
Tecno W2
Homtom HT16
Umi London
Kiano Elegance 5.1
iLife Fivo Lite
Mito A39
Vertex Impress InTouch 4G
Vertex Impress Genius
myPhone Hammer Energy
Advan S5E NXT
Advan S4Z
Advan i5E
STF AERIAL PLUS
STF JOY PRO
Tesla SP6.2
Cubot Rainbow
EXTREME 7
Haier T51
Cherry Mobile Flare S5
Cherry Mobile Flare J2S
Cherry Mobile Flare P1
NOA H6
Pelitt T1 PLUS
Prestigio Grace M5 LTE
BQ 5510

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