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‘Severe’ malware found pre-installed on over 30 Android devices

Android has once again by hit by the scourge of malware, this time in the form of malicious software installed on devices even before they reach customers.

Research conducted by Check Point found the ‘severe infection’ pre-installed on 36 devices including smartphones from the likes of Samsung and LG.

“The malware were already present on the devices even before the users received them,” said Check Point in a blog post first spotted here.

“The malicious apps were not part of the official ROM supplied by the vendor, and were added somewhere along the supply chain.”
Related: Android 7.0 Nougat review

If you’re worried about owning one of the affected devices, here’s the full list:

*Not every version of the models named above is affected

The majority of the malicious software is made up of info-stealers and rough ad networks. The worry is that one of them is Slocker, a mobile ransomware.

“Slocker uses the AES encryption algorithm to encrypt all files on the device and demand ransom in return for their decryption key. Slocker uses Tor for its C&C communications,” Check Point added.

Even without this news, Android device owners are often advised to download and run mobile antivirus software as soon as they purchase a smartphone or tablet running the OS.

If your device is on the list above and you are worried, the best thing to do is back-up your smartphone or tablet and perform a factory reset.

Watch: What we know about the Samsung Galaxy S8

Does this kind of malware push you to switch from Android to iOS? Let us know in the comments below.

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