A new breed of Android malware has been discovered, and it’s one that’s almost impossible to remove.
Mobile security company Lookout has discovered a particularly tenacious new type of threat to Android phones.
It’s an insidious strand of adware – that is, a type of malware that aggressively pushes adverts on the victim – that auto-roots your phone and silently operates in the background.
What’s more, such adware is virtually impossible to uninstall. A simple factory reset won’t do the job, and the only solution is to seek professional assistance or to purchase a new device.
This adware, which seems to come from three main ‘families,’ implants itself on phones by masquerading as popular apps. Indeed, Lookout has identified some 20,000 apps that have been ‘repackaged’ in this way.
Some of these apps even continue to imitate the basic function of the genuine article, helping the malware to blend in further.
Related: 10 Best Android Phones in 2015
It’s worth noting that the UK isn’t on the list of the worst-affected territories, but the US and Germany are. This means that such malware is a risk even in developed countries with a thriving Google Play Store ecosystem.
Of course, said infected apps are almost always downloaded through third party app stores rather than Google’s official Play Store. If you needed any further encouragement to stick to the latter when scouting for apps, this should do the trick.
Next, take a look at our smartphone buyers guide video: