Android viruses are becoming frighteningly common. With over 75% of the world’s smartphone users running Android, criminals have a massive list of people to target.
But one Chinese Android botnet looks to be the largest network of infected devices to date. The botnet was discovered by mobile security researchers. It spreads through infected app downloads and allows hackers to remotely access smartphones for “fraudulent purposes”
How the botnet spreads
Legitimate Android users shouldn’t be worried about the threat of botnets. So far, it looks like the Android malware is spreading through third-party app stores. Android users visit these third-party stores hoping to download free premium apps, only to find out their device has been infected.
The Trojan – cleverly called Android.Troj.mdk – was found in over 7,000 different apps, all of which were downloaded from sources outside the Google Play Store. The botnet is growing in size, which makes it easier for hackers to infect new users.
Although 7,000 infected apps have been discovered thus far, the actual number of infected apps is likely much higher than that number. Many of the infected apps are of the “free premium” variety, which means users are lured into downloading premium apps for the unbeatable price of ‘free’.
How to check if the botnet has infected your Android
When the botnet infects a device, it will spike data usage and call logs on that phone. So if your Android has been infected, you’ll need to look through your data usage and call logs for any usage that you don’t recognize.
To look at your Android’s data usage, go to Settings > Data usage
Other warning signs could include slow performance when running apps or navigating menus.
How to protect Android
There are dozens of Android antivirus programs out there, and they all function in about the same way. But there’s one thing that most Android antivirus programs have in common: they work better on rooted devices.
When an Android device is rooted, users can grant apps ‘superuser’ permission, which means that the app can access more files and look deeper into the core layers of the Android operating system. That helps the antivirus software spot viruses and install filters at the core levels of your system.
Antivirus software scans apps before you download them. So even if you make the mistake of visiting a third-party unauthorized app store to download an app, you won’t automatically infect your device. Of course, you should always try to avoid visiting unauthorized third-party app stores. Stick to the Google Play Store or the Amazon App Store.
Rooted Androids and antivirus software work hand-in-hand to protect your device. If you’re ready to safeguard your Android, root your device by downloading One Click Root today!