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Android malware that comes preinstalled is a massive threat

August 08, 2019 / ALFRED NG

Keeping your Android device safe from malware is difficult enough as it is -- but it's an entirely different threat when the harmful apps come with your device. Android's open-source operating system allows for more affordable alternatives for millions of people, but it also opens the door for hackers to sneak in prepackaged malware. Preinstalled malware had been discovered on more than 7.4 million Android devices, which had the ability to take over devices and download apps in the background while committing ad fraud, researchers working for Google found. While major Android partners like Samsung or LG, as well as Google's own Pixel devices, are likely safe from these kinds of threats, budget phone makers who rely on third-party software to save a few bucks could be vulnerable. Attackers offer genuine services, and hide the malware in the apps they provide, according to Maddie Stone, a security researcher on Google's Project Zero and previously a tech lead on the Andro...