(WFLA – North Carolina) – According to the Mobile Threat Prevention department at Check Point Software Technologies Inc., Android users should beware of a set pre-installed malware that can wreak havoc on their lives. Check Point says they recently detected malware in 36 Android devices that came installed with the phone.

According to the findings, the malware was already present on the devices before the users received them. The malicious apps were not part of the official ROM supplied by the vendor, but were added somewhere along the supply chain. Six of the malware infections were added by to the device’s ROM using system privileges, meaning they couldn’t be removed by the user and the device had to be re-flashed.

Most of the malware found to be pre-installed on the devices were info-stealers and rough ad networks. One of them was Slocker, a well known mobile ransomware. Slocker uses the AES encryption algorithm to encrypt all files on the device and demand ransom in return for their decryption key. Slocker uses Tor for its C&C communications.

The most notable rough adnet which targeted the devices is the Loki Malware. This complex malware operates by using several different components; each has its own functionality and role in achieving the malware’s malicious goal. The malware displays illegitimate advertisements to generate revenue. As part of its operation, the malware steals data about the device and installs itself to system, allowing it to take full control of the device and achieve persistency.

The risk of pre-installed malware

As a general rule, users should avoid risky websites and download apps only from official and trusted app stores, like the Google Play Store. However, following these guidelines is not enough to ensure their security. Pre-installed malware can compromise the security even of the most vigilant users. In addition, a user who receives a device already containing malware will not be able to notice any change in the device’s activity which often occur once a malware is installed.

The discovery of the pre-installed malware raises some alarming issues regarding mobile security. Users could receive devices which contain backdoors or are rooted without their knowledge. To protect themselves from regular and pre-installed malware, users should implement advanced security measures capable of identifying and blocking any abnormality in the device’s behavior.

List of Malware APKs, Shas, and Affected Devices

com.fone.player1 3d99f490802f767201e8d507def4360319ce12ddf46765ca1b1168d64041f20f Galaxy Note 2
com.lu.compass f901fd1fc2ce079a18c619e1192b14dcc164c97da3286031ee542dabe0b4cd8c Galaxy S7
Galaxy S4
com.kandian.hdtogoapp b4e70118905659cd9b2c948ce59eba2c4431149d8eb8f043796806262d9a625b Galaxy Note 4
Galaxy Note 8.0
com.sds.android.ttpod 936e7af60845c4a90b8ce033734da67d080b4f4f0ca9c319755c4a179d54bf1b Galaxy Note 2
Xiaomi Mi 4i
com.baycode.mop 39c6bab80cc157bfe540bdee9ce2440b3b363e830bc7adaab9fc37075fb26fb1 Galaxy A5
com.kandian.hdtogoapp 998ab3d91cbc4f1b02ea6095f833bfed9d4f610eea83c51c56ce9979a2469aea Galaxy S4
com.iflytek.ringdiyclient e9a30767e69dccb1b980eae42601dff857a394c7abdfe93a18e8739fa218d14b ZTE x500
com.android.deketv 01b8cb51464b07775ff5f45207d26d8d9f4a3b6863c110b56076b446bda03a8a Galaxy A5
com.changba a07745f05913e122ec19eba9848af6dfda88533d67b7ec17d11c1562245cbed1 Galaxy S4
Galaxy Note 3
Galaxy S4
Galaxy Note Edge
Galaxy Note 4
com.example.loader e4e97090e9fd6cc3d321cee5799efd1806b5d8a9dea7c4872044057eb1c486ff Galaxy Tab S2
com.armorforandroid.security 947574e790b1370e2a6b5f4738c8411c63bdca09a7455dd9297215bd161cd591 Galaxy Tab 2
com.android.ys.services 0d8bf3cf5b58d9ba280f093430259538b6340b24e805058f3d85381d215ca778 Oppo N3
vivo X6 plus
com.mobogenie.daemon 0038f450d7f1df75bf5890cf22299b0c99cc0bea8d66e6d25528cb01992a436b Galaxy S4
com.google.googlesearch 217eee3a83f33b658fb03fddfadd0e2eb34781d5dd243203da21f6cb335ef1b4 5 Asus Zenfone 2
com.skymobi.mopoplay.appstore 3032bb3d90eea6de2ba58ac7ceddead702cc3aeca7792b27508e540f0d1a60be LenovoS90
com.example.loader 1cb5a37bd866e92b993ecbbcc4a2478c717eeb93839049ef0953b0c6ba89434e OppoR7 plus
com.yongfu.wenjianjiaguanli e5656c1d96158ee7e1a94f08bca1213686a05266e37fb2efb5443b84250ea29d Xiaomi Redmi
air.fyzb3 c4eac5d13e58fb7d32a123105683a293f70456ffe43bb640a50fde22fe1334a2 Galaxy Note 4
com.ddev.downloader.v2 92ae2083a8495cc5b0a0a82f0bdeb53877170d2615ce93bd8081172af9e60f8f Galaxy Note 5
com.mojang.minecraftpe fbe9c495f86a291a0abe67ad36712475ff0674d319334dbd7a2c3aa10ff0f429 Galaxy Note Edge
com.androidhelper.sdk b0f6d2fc8176356124e502426d7aa7448490556ef68a2f31a78f4dd8af9d1750 Lenovo A850