Bootkit malware is an evil type of malware that burrows itself deep within your PC.
You can run an antivirus scan, but you’ll only remove the tip of the iceberg: the most dangerous parts still lie just beneath the ocean and are nearly impossible to remove. Bootkits require special software in order to be removed from your system because they lie in the most core files of your PC – your antivirus doesn’t like deleting files from the core because it could permanently ruin your computer, which is why most antivirus software can’t handle bootkit malware.
Unfortunately, the world’s first bootkit malware has been discovered for Android. The malware was discovered in China by a Russian security firm and is called Android.Oldboot.1.
So far, that bootkit has infected an astonishing 350,000 mobile devices in the following countries:
-Various Southeast Asian countries
Before you start freaking out, consider this: 92% of infected devices are located in China. In fact, the bootkit malware is designed specifically to target Chinese Android devices.
Like many of the viruses that originate in China, this malware is installed on Androids before you even buy your phone. Hackers intercept these Androids somewhere along the supply chain. Sometimes, factory workers with physical access to units are responsible, while in other cases, it’s retail workers. It’s a huge problem with all Chinese electronics.
Without getting overly technical, this Android bootkit installs itself as a typical application. However, unlike typical applications, the Android.Oldboot.1 registers itself as a system service and receives commands from a remote server.
Are you infected?
If you have purchased an Android smartphone from a sketchy Chinese website over the past few months, then yes, you could have an infected device. Otherwise, you’re probably safe.
If you are infected, then there is no currently known way to fix the issue. The bootkit malware is, for all intents and purposes, a core file in your Android device’s kernel, which means you can’t run your operating system without it. Unfortunately, the only way to solve this issue is to purchase a new Android phone – and don’t buy from shady Chinese websites.