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Malware Found Pre-Installed on Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo Phones

Everysmartphone and tablet are tested by manufacturers before they even getreleased into the marketto ensure that consumers are getting units in their optimum shape. However, a recent research found that some smartphone units are being shipped already loaded with malware.

A study conducted by G Data, a Germany-based cyber security firm, confirmed that sample handsets found to have a malware installed in them increased 25 percent compared to this year's first quarter. Particularly, smartphones and tablets from Chinese brands Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo were discovered to have apps modified to spy on its users or to insert ads.

The same paper confirmed that malware on mobile computing devices are growing so rapidlythat a new malware epidemic can be discovered by security researchers every 14 seconds.

Other smartphones found to be affected by malware infestation are units from DJC, Alps, Xido, Concorde, Sesonn- all of which are being sold in Asia and Europe.

Christian Lueg, the spokesperson for G Data, explained that the malware was injected by a middleman. The security firm tried to chase its source and immediately traced it back to China, but that is the farthest the researchers have reached. "We lost the trail in China," he stated.

A total of 26 smartphone units were discovered to be carrying a malicious software right before the consumer acquires the device.

Unfortunately, finding the malware would be a difficult task because it hides under famous apps like Facebook or Google Drive, explained The Hacker News. Uninstalling the suspicious app won't help, either, because the malware clings to the handset's firmware.

The security firm suspects that the malware in most cases were injected by a third party and not by the manufacturers themselves. But, it is also possible that the smartphones tested were accidentally infected in a supply chain or the malware was a mistake that was overlooked during production.

Here are the devices infected with the malware: Xiaomi Mi 3, Huawei G510, Lenovo S860, AlpsA24, Alps 809T, Alps H9001, Alps 2206, Alps PrimuxZeta, Alps N3, Alps ZP100, Alps 709, Alps GQ2002, Alps N9389,Andorid P8, ConCorde SmartPhone6500, DJC touchtalk, ITOUCH, NoName S806i, SESONN N9500, SESONN P8,Xido X1111

Edit: A spokesperson from Xiaomi told Trak India that the malware is injected by a third-party supplier and not by the manufacturers themselves. "Unauthorized retailers can inject malware into any device bought from an unofficial channel. This is why we strongly recommend buying Mi phones only through authorised channels such as, Flipkart, Amazon or Snapdeal."

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