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Preinstalled Malware Has Been Discovered on Android Devices

So far, preinstalled malware has been found on almost 40 Android smartphones and tablets — all before the device is turned on for the first time.

Recently, preinstalled malware was found on nearly 40 Android smartphones and tablets, from manufacturers such as Samsung, Google, and LG. The malware was added to the phone at some point later in the supply chain; it was not added by the manufacturers. In several cases, malware was found on the ROM firmware, which means that someone with system privileges was able to manipulate the software.

Preinstalled malware is especially worrisome because, no matter how cautious you strive to be online, you cannot prevent this type of malware. Thankfully, this type of malware can be discovered and removed if you scan your new device for security threats immediately after turning it on. Use DFNDR’s Security Scan to quickly scan your new device for malware, so that you can remove any threats before they compromise your data. Click here to scan your device for preinstalled malware:

Security Scan
Various Devices Were Infected

In most cases, the malware on the infected devices was easy to spot. Many of the devices came preinstalled with malicious apps that contained adware or ransomware. Other malicious apps gave themselves system privileges in order to have more control over the infected devices.

The preinstalled malware was found on 38 smartphones and tablets. Some of those included various Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab models, LG G4, Asus Zenfone 2, and LenovoS90, among many others. Although it’s still unknown exactly when these devices were infected with malware — and how the devices were obtained — it’s important to avoid low-cost tech resellers that offer a too-good-to-be-true bargain.

Regularly Scan Your Device for Malware

Make sure to buy all of your tech devices from a reputable source, so that you can minimize your risk for purchasing a device with preinstalled malware. Still, it’s a good idea to scan any new tech device — whether or not it’s listed as one of the infected models — that you purchase for malware to truly eliminate your risk. It doesn’t take long to scan a new device for malware, and it’s a safe practice that will prevent your personal data from being stolen.

Preinstalled Malware is Not Uncommon

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year, malicious apps were found preinstalled on a variety of Android devices as well. Further, preinstalled backdoors were discovered on millions of devices that were manufactured by BLU and others. A majority of these phones sent regular data updates from US smartphone users to China.