The spread of malware on the Android mobile platform seems to be getting more and more common. This week alone there were reports of two major rootkit-type variants that have affected millions of devices each. If you still think that phones do not need the same kind of security and antimalware protections as your home computer, you may want to think again.
The Hummingbad malware is currently up to 10 million infected users worldwide, with 286,000 being in the US. The main targets right now are located in China and it’s vicinity, largely due to China being the likely country of origin. Yingmob, the alleged company responsible for the malware, is reportedly also in some level of control of over 80 million Android devices and sells information associated with accessing them. For Hummingbad, the malware roots the phone in one of numerous methods available to it, which provides it administrative privileges in order to continue exploiting the phone. It will then install other malicious apps that generate ad revenue for Yingmob, potentially generating up to $300,000 per month.
Similarly, Hummer was another form of Android malware, infecting up to 1.2 million devices every day. This repeated the same technique of rooting the phone and installing additional malicious applications. Due to the sheer enormity of daily infections, it is possible that this malware is generating up to $500,000 daily for the attackers.
To not be in the list of millions that get infected, be sure to install a reputable antivirus and security solution for your Android device, if you own one. Also make sure to go into your settings and disable authorization for third-party app downloads. Finally, should an application (or even the system itself) ask for permissions, always be sure to examine the request thoroughly and decline it if it does not make logical sense.
To read more about Hummingbad and Hummer: