PSA: New Android Malware Discovered by Lookout Could be 'nearly impossible to remove'


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011

When it comes to Malware on Android, it doesn't really get much scarier than this. The security company, Lookout, has just found a new trojanized malware "strain" for Android and the worst part about it is that it can actually root itself to your device.

According to Lookout's analysis, this new malware strain has been found on over 20,000 apps masquerading as legitimate top applications, including Candy Crush, Facebook, GoogleNow, NYTimes, Okta, Snapchat, Twitter, and others. The vast majority of these were found on third party download sites instead of the Google Play Store, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be cautious even when downloading from there. The highest rates of infection are in Google Play-friendly countries like Germany and the US.

What's especially troubling about this malware is that after it gains root access to your device it embeds itself as a system application. Lookout themselves claim this makes it "nearly impossible to remove." Only the most die-hard developer or tinkerer would be able to repair an infected phone by loading a completely fresh ROM or carefully modifying system files over ADB. This is obviously outside the capabilities of the average Android user, although many of our own members could tackle it.

Still, it would be an annoying hassle just to save your device from an infection. As always be extra careful what you download, and go out of your way to make sure it is legitimate. For more details read Lookout's report here: Lookout discovers new trojanized adware; 20K popular apps caught in the crossfire | Lookout Blog