Many cheap Android phones found to be preloaded with trojans

It looks like cheap Android smartphones might not be as economical as you imagined, as new forms of preloaded malware are regularly being discovered in these devices. Just last month, there were two such findings and now security firm Doctor Web has found a couple of trojans in some more cheap smartphones.

According to Doctor Web's report, 26 Android smartphones from various manufacturers were preloaded with a trojan called Android.DownLoader.473.origin. Since it is embedded in the firmware, it may not be possible for a regular user to get rid off it. A majority of these infected devices are powered by MediaTek chipsets, which are fairly common in low cost smartphones. The list of devices published by the researchers is as follows:

  • MegaFon Login 4 LTE
  • Irbis TZ85
  • Irbis TX97
  • Irbis TZ43
  • Bravis NB85
  • Bravis NB105
  • SUPRA M72KG
  • SUPRA M729G
  • SUPRA V2N10
  • Pixus Touch 7.85 3G
  • Itell K3300
  • General Satellite GS700
  • Digma Plane 9.7 3G
  • Nomi C07000
  • Prestigio MultiPad Wize 3021 3G
  • Prestigio MultiPad PMT5001 3G
  • Optima 10.1 3G TT1040MG
  • Marshal ME-711
  • 7 MID
  • Explay Imperium 8
  • Perfeo 9032_3G
  • Ritmix RMD-1121
  • Oysters T72HM 3G
  • Irbis tz70
  • Irbis tz56
  • Jeka JK103

Two devices from Lenovo were found to contain another similar trojan, which was identified as Android.Sprovider.7. Both variants of the malware are capable of displaying ads and notifications, and can also download apps from unknown sources.

There may be many more affected devices or variants of these, since they are mostly sourced directly from Chinese OEMs and rebranded for local sales. Next time you are looking for an inexpensive Android smartphone, it would make sense to go for a reputed smartphone brand in light of these recent discoveries.

Source: Doctor Web via Ars Technica

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