Alert: New Malware Infects Millions of Mobile Devices
While security experts tend to focus the brunt of their discussions on desktop OS vulnerabilities, there are plenty of mobile malware threats that fly under the radar. One such malware is called Hummer; a trojan that installs unwanted apps and malware on a device, and can be found on over a million phones worldwide.
The Hummer malware family has increased over the past year. At its peak activity, Hummer infected nearly 1.4 million devices every day. It’s thought that Hummer originated in China, and it has been known to infect over 63,000 devices daily in China alone. Granted, the spread of infections has dramatically decreased, but this hasn’t stopped Hummer from infecting about 1,190,000 devices.
As reported by TechRepublic, here are the top five countries and the number of devices that are infected by the Hummer malware:
- India: 154,248
- Indonesia: 92,889
- Turkey: 63,906
- China: 63,285
- Mexico: 59,192
What It Does
Hummer roots devices that it infects, which can unlock the operating system and allow for administrator privileges. Once it has infiltrated the device and unlocked it, Hummer will install malware, unwanted applications, games, pornographic applications, and other malicious and annoying programs. Since Hummer roots the device, your traditional antivirus and anti-malware programs aren’t going to be enough to get rid of it.
Yet, perhaps the most dangerous part of this malware is that you can’t uninstall the unwanted apps. Well… you can, but the trojan will just reinstall the apps, which is both frustrating and a terrible use of your mobile data. Cheetah Mobile ran a test on the Hummer trojan and came to some shocking results: "In several hours, the trojan accessed the network over 10,000 times and downloaded over 200 APKs, consuming 2 GB of network traffic." It’s clear that you don’t want this malware installed on your device, as it could jack up your phone bill and become an immense annoyance.
How to Fix It
To make matters worse, wiping your device won’t even be enough to get rid of the trojan. Cheetah Mobile claims that the factory reset won’t remove it. Users could also flash their device, but this can get complicated, and we don’t recommend doing so if you have no clue what you’re doing.
Hummer isn’t the first mobile malware, and it certainly won’t be the last. Users of smartphones have to be just as cautious and vigilant as desktop users. To learn more about mobile malware and other threats, reach out to us at 603-889-0800.