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‘Unremovable’ Malware Plagues Android Apps

Security researchers discovered new Android adware yesterday (Nov. 5) that has hidden itself within thousands of mobile applications, such as popular titles like Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and more, ZDNet reported.

According to Lookout Security, the mobile security firm that discovered the new “trojanized adware,” users with infected devices are being forced to replace their phones because the bugs are almost impossible to remove.

“Lookout has detected over 20,000 samples of this type of trojanized adware masquerading as legitimate top applications, including Candy Crush, Facebook, GoogleNow, NYTimes, Okta, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp and many others,” the company said in a blog post.

According to Lookout, the malicious code has been repackaged and injected into some of the most popular applications available on Google Play. The security firm believes that while many of the apps are fully functional and provide their normal services, they also carry the adware code that then roots itself within the targeted device.

“Unlike older types of adware that were obvious and obnoxious, prompting users to uninstall them, this new type of adware is silent, working in the background,” Lookout’s blog post continued.

For now, the company confirmed that there seems to be no indication that users who have installed these infected apps have actually been affected.

But Lookout did warn about this particular class of trojanized adware becoming more sophisticated over time, “leveraging its root privilege to further exploit user devices, allow additional malware to gain read or write privileges in the system directory and better hide evidence of its presence and activities.”

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