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Researchers find 36 Android devices shipping with pre-installed malware

Nexus 5 and Nexus 5x were originally on the list of infected phones, but Check Point removed those models without explanation in an update of its blog post. SophosLabs cited a rising tide of Android-based attacks in its  2017 Malware Forecast  last month, and the problem was further illustrated last week in a report that Windows-based malware was making its way into Android apps during development. And now researchers have discovered another security issue: devices shipping with pre-installed malware. Check Point’s Mobile Threat Prevention team says it  detected malware in 36 Android devices belonging to a large telecommunications company and a multinational technology company. The team said malicious code was already present on the devices even before they were issued to users. Just as the Windows-based malware cited above How to an individual? was introduced during the development process, so were the malicious apps Check Point discovered. Six infections were apparently added to the device’s ROM by bad actors using system privileges. Most of the sinister apps steal information and display unwanted ads. The malware discovered is well-known to SophosLabs researchers. One is Loki, used by attackers to gain device system privileges . Another is a piece of ransomware known as Slocker, which relies on  Tor to conceal the bad guys’ Skip Trace identities.

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