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Hummer Malware Lay Dormant on Users’ Phones for a Year

Developed by Chinese hackers, this strand of malware was installed on users' Androids in 2015 — but it didn't attack until the next year!

Research shows that Hummer malware has existed since 2015, if not even longer. However, the Trojan quietly bided its time and only began wreaking havoc in 2016. Once it finally struck, Hummer became one of the most devastating malware strains of all time. Indeed, Hummer’s resounding success is a cautionary tale to Android users who don’t run regular virus scans, or even refuse to use any anti-virus protection at all. Click here to run a Full Virus Scan on your phone to check for hidden malware:

Even if you don’t see any visible signs that your Android is infected, you should still regularly run virus scans. After all, there could be a dormant virus at play — and you wouldn’t even know it! Full Virus Scan will search through every inch of your phone, including the device’s memory, SD card, and every installed app. It’s a more complete option than Security Scan — a great option if you’re short on time — although both tools are effective at catching malicious attacks. If you want to quickly verify that your phone is secure, run a Security Scan:

Read More: Massive Global Cyberattack Has Ties to the NSA

Hummer Malware’s Destructive Legacy

Created by a group of Chinese hackers, Hummer was wildly destructive in 2016. The most affected countries were: China, Russia, India, Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. At its peak during January 2016, the malware was infecting nearly 1.4 million Androids per day. These numbers double the damage made by any other previous attacks. Experts estimate that the hackers were possibly receiving $500,000 every day that month, because installing the malware likely had a payout of $0.50 per phone.

How Did Hummer Create Such Havoc?

After it was successfully installed, Hummer rooted into the system to seize administrator privileges. Once rooting has occurred, it’s far more difficult to remove a Trojan — even after doing a factory reset. Another problematic aspect of Hummer is how much data it eats up. Some of Hummer’s data-crunching activities include: running advertisements, installing other malware, and creating tons of background activity. Users, whose phones were infected with Hummer, were often going way over their data allowances every month.

As a final note: with many of the trickier viruses, prevention is often far easier than removal. It’s important to take steps now to keep your Android safe in the future. So, make sure to regularly run a Full Virus Scan or Security Scan to keep your device safe and free of malware.