A recent report from security company Lookout revealed that more than 10 million Android smartphones are infected by a noxious malware called HummingBad.
This malware is responsible to install more than 50,000 malicious apps each day and displays around 20 million ads on infected devices.
It contains a rootkit which allows the malware to hide deep inside the phone system files and avoid detection. This way it can take complete control of the device.
The security researchers have quietly observed the malware and its creators for the past 5 months. They’ve gained access to the command and control servers used by the malware.
The report indicates that HummingBad malware is developed by a Chinese mobile ad server company and it gives around $300,000 revenue to the creators by showing malicious ads.
Most of the infected devices are running older version of Android, residing in China and India. It also includes Pakistan and other countries where older versions of Android are still used by masses.
The malware was brought to the attention of security firms when a sharp spike in the number of phones infected by it was noticed.
How to Protect your Smartphone?
Google has advised users not to allow app installations outside of Google Play.
We’ve long been aware of this evolving family of malware and we’re constantly improving our systems that detect it. We actively block installations of infected apps to keep users and their information safe.
You can download the Lookout antivirus application on your phone to check if it is infected or not. Also make sure that you don’t allow app installations from unknown sources and keep the root permissions limited to known applications only.