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Android malware is now hijacking your phone when you shut it down

A new piece of Android malware which has been discovered can hijack your phone to make calls, record videos and steal sensitive data - all after you turn it off.

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The latest malware threat on Android hijacks your shutdown process/ © ANDROIDPIT

The cunning piece of code was discovered by researchers at online security company AVG. The malware affects all versions of Android older than 5.0 Lollipop, and poses as apps requesting root access to your phone. Once the malware has permission, it hijacks your smartphone's shutdown process, so that when you shut your phone down, it actually stays on despite having a blank screen, letting the malware access it when you think it's safely turned off.

AVG first spotted the malware spreading across Chinese app stores - where around 10,000 devices have been infected so far. However, the security company has now added the malware to their Android antivirus definitions list. This means that if you download AVG for Android, you should be protected from this particularly devious malware.

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AVG AntiVirus Security for Android is one of the ways you can stay safe from this new malware threat/ © ANDROIDPIT
AntiVirus FREE 2016 - Android Install on Google Play

Despite claiming that its app will protect you from the malware, AVG advises users to take the battery out of their phones when they switch it off to be really certain it's off, just to be on the safe side. Before you start trying to prise open your HTC One (M8) or other non-removeable battery smartphone with a dessert spoon however, remember that the malware only affects pre-Lollipop versions of Android, and AVG told AndroidPIT that it hasn't affected the Play Store.

If, on the other hand, you don't want to download the AVG app because you find it intrusive or value speed over security, then our advice is to always carefully read the permissions before you download apps. We know it's boring and you'll probably be fine without reading the permissions, but is it really worth the risk with malware like this floating around?


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  • Reg Joo Feb 25, 2015 Link to comment

    What wasn't explained in the article, is if the malware persist the next time you power it on again, after a battery pull. When I started getting into android, I used anti-malware protection, but it was so intrusive, no matter which one I used. I haven't used any in over 2 years, and nothing's happened. Google needs to reign in the permission requirements, and services, of posted apps, on the playstore(somewhat starting with the playstore, there's a lot of permissions, and services, that aren't seen, even with most permission managers,3C toolbox , exposed a lot of this, that others didn't). There's a lot of games, and old outdated, non-updatable apps, still there that needs to go(talking about chainfire 3d(free, and pro, tried to destroy my phone, and many others, just look at the reviews). Google should clean play, every 3 to 6 months, just to get rid of outdated, unusable apps, that still have permissions, that may let malware in.

  • With the increasing popularity of android smart phones in the market, the number of malware and viruses targeting the android operating system has increased radically. It is important to install the right Anti virus to safeguard your phone from any problems.

  • Cycloop Feb 24, 2015 Link to comment

    Eset doet het ook prima hoor.

  • Pratheek Feb 24, 2015 Link to comment

    Yeah...Thanks for the info.

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