IT Services researchers over at Trend Micro have discovered the malicious ‘Xavier’ malware which come pre-installed on a wide range of Android apps including photo editors, wallpapers and ringtone changers and phone tracking.
There are reports of over 800 Android apps in the Google Play Store which have been infected with a malicious ad library virus that silently collects sensitive user data and can perform dangerous operations. Since the majority of the infected apps are free to download, the risk of infection is high. The Android apps which have been infected are said to be photo editors, wallpapers and ringtone changers, phone tracking, volume booster, RAM optimizer and music-video players.
The problem IT services firms face is the fact that ‘Xavier’ is a very sophisticated piece of Malware – it is smart enough to avoid detection by avoiding being analysed, it can be controlled remotely allowing hackers to download and execute malicious codes from anywhere, and it is configured to steal devices’ and user related information.
Reports are suggesting that the highest number of infected users originate from South East Asia countries such as Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia – with fewer reported infections elsewhere including Australia. But since these apps are available for download by anyone, anywhere in the world we advise users only download apps they really need and users download apps which look and feel legitimate from the Google Play Store.
How to protect yourself from falling victim to the ‘Xavier’ malware?
- If the app sounds too good to be true then it probably is – a lot of people fall for apps such which allow you to ‘hack into any encrypted wifi’ or ‘save 90% of battery life’ simply by downloading their app. That should already set off alarm bells.
- Try to use trusted brands only – there’s only one real Facebook app, if another developer says they make a better version of the app it should be treated with caution as they will most likely be able to capture your Facebook login credentials as soon as you type them in.
- Check out an apps reviews – not only on the app store but Google it. Social media is a great method of search these days – search for the app first before downloading – you never know it may be part of the apps infected ‘Xavier’ malware.
- Keep an antivirus app running in the background – even though it will use up resources such as battery and RAM, in the event you do download an infected app, the antivirus will come in handy and may even save you hundreds of dollars in case your phone gets totally locked out.
IntelliTeK is a managed IT services company in Sydney, Australia. With major vendor relationships and accreditation’s including WatchGuard, Microsoft, Trend Micro and Amazon Web Services, IntelliTeK have kept clients happy since 2007. IntelliTeK are always up to date with the latest threats to emails and IT security which is why we only partner with the best in the industry. If your company isn’t fully equipped to fend off cyber criminals, then get in touch with us so we can discuss your options. Call us on 1300 768 779, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, fill out the web form, or have a Live Chat with us below.