Android Malware Tough to Remove

Monday, November 3, 2014 @ 06:11 PM gHale

Malicious malware could become a big problem for Android users, as the malware systematically removes traces of itself from the phone and makes uninstalling impossible through normal means, researchers said.

Once installed, the malware places its shortcut – without an icon or any captions – on the device’s home screen which can make users believe the installation has failed, said researchers at Dr. Web.

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“In some cases after its launch, Android.Dialer.7.origin can display an error message about the unavailability of the requested service, after which it hides its tracks in the infected system by deleting the shortcut, and operates in the guise of a system service,” they said in a blog post.

“The service can be launched using the shortcut, but alternately the dialer can activate it automatically after a system restart, so it doesn’t require user intervention to start its malicious activities.”

The malware places calls to an adult service number in regular intervals. In order for the action to pass unnoticed, it disables the earpiece of the mobile device during the phone calls, and later removes evidence of it from the call log and system log.

Even if the victims discover the malware on their device, they will have a tough time removing it as it will continually return them to the home screen whenever they try to access the system settings section from which apps can usually end up uninstalled.

The company’s mobile AV solution solves that particular problem, and likely others do (or will soon).

The researchers didn’t mention where the malicious app is available for download, but users should always be careful when evaluating apps they want to install on their devices.

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