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Android malware: A pre-installed app reports find

Some time ago, Terrence O'Brien reported that Lenovo began receiving complaints from customers that purchased new laptops where users began experiencing "weird sponsored links" in some search results while browsing. It was discovered that Superfish, a small adware program, was being pre-installed and shipped with all new laptops. Needless to say, Lenovo quickly halted this practice. This became a public-relations nightmare but it appears Lenovo's quick action and acknowledgement of the problem has not impacted sales to a large degree.

Now, enter a new strain of Android malware "APK" that some say is "virtually impossible" to remove because it is embedded in the firmware in smartphones recently released, according to Avast Thread Labs. Read here if you want to know more about the malware APK and its variants but basically it works by repackaging legitimate apps with Adware. Once downloaded, the app generates money for the hacker through ads and getting rid of the malware only seems possible by replacing the device.

(Android is a "mobile operating system developed by Google, based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software. It is mainly designed for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.")

Sources: CNN, Engadget, Avast Thread Labs

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