A report reveals that millions of Android smartphones are being sold with pre-installed malware. The malware has been dubbed “Cosiloon” by the researchers at security firm Avast. Cosiloon is a type of adware that displays unwanted ads on users’ devices.
The malware is embedded in the firmware of some Android smartphones and tablets. This makes it difficult for users to remove it, as it is not stored in the usual storage areas where apps are installed. Instead, it resides in a separate partition of the device’s memory, which is typically reserved for the system’s firmware.
Avast researchers discovered the malware in more than 140 models of Android devices from manufacturers including ZTE, Archos, and myPhone. Most of the affected devices were sold in Europe, but some were also sold in Asia and South America.
The researchers believe that the malware was pre-installed by a third-party vendor that supplies the firmware to the affected manufacturers. They suspect that the vendor may have been compromised by a hacker or may have deliberately installed the malware to generate ad revenue.
Cosiloon is capable of displaying full-screen ads, and it can also download and install other apps without the user’s knowledge. This poses a serious security risk to users, as the malware could potentially install other malicious apps that could steal personal information or damage the device.
To protect themselves, Android users should only install apps from trusted sources such as the Google Play Store. They should also use antivirus software to detect and remove any malware that may be present on their devices.
The discovery of pre-installed malware on millions of Android devices highlights the importance of being vigilant when it comes to protecting our personal information and devices. Users should always take precautions and use trusted sources when downloading and installing apps on their smartphones and tablets.