Every smartphone and tablet are tested by manufacturers before they even get released into the market to ensure that consumers are getting units in their optimum shape. However, a recent research found that some smartphone units are being shipped already loaded with malware.
A study conducted by G Data, a Germany-based cyber security firm, confirmed that sample handsets found to have a malware installed in them increased 25 percent compared to this year's first quarter. Particularly, smartphones and tablets from Chinese brands Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo were discovered to have apps modified to spy on its users or to insert ads.
The same paper confirmed that malware on mobile computing devices are growing so rapidly that a new malware epidemic can be discovered by security researchers every 14 seconds.
Other smartphones found to be affected by malware infestation are units from DJC, Alps, Xido, Concorde, Sesonn - all of which are being sold in Asia and Europe.
Christian Lueg, the spokesperson for G Data, explained that the malware was injected by a middleman. The security firm tried to chase its source and immediately traced it back to China, but that is the farthest the researchers have reached. "We lost the trail in China,"he stated.
A total of 26 smartphone units were discovered to be carrying a malicious software right before the consumer acquires the device.
Unfortunately, finding the malware would be a difficult task because it hides under famous apps like Facebook or Google Drive, explained The Hacker News. Uninstalling the suspicious app won't help, either, because the malware clings to the handset's firmware.
It is still unclear if the malware infestation is government-sponsored intelligence tactic or a mistake the manufacturers have overlooked during production.
Here are the devices infected with the malware: Xiaomi Mi 3, Huawei G510, Lenovo S860, Alps A24, Alps 809T, Alps H9001, Alps 2206, Alps PrimuxZeta, Alps N3, Alps ZP100, Alps 709, Alps GQ2002, Alps N9389, Andorid P8, ConCorde SmartPhone6500, DJC touchtalk, ITOUCH, NoName S806i, SESONN N9500, SESONN P8, Xido X1111