Security researchers at Cheetah Mobile have uncovered one of the world’s largest and most prolific Trojan family, infecting millions of Android devices around the world.
Hackers can use it to secretly install malicious apps, games, and pop-up adverts on your smartphone remotely in order to make large sums of money.
First discovered in 2014 by Cheetah Mobile, Hummer gained attention in early 2016 when the Trojan was infecting “nearly 1.4 Million devices daily at its peak” with 63,000 infections occurring daily in China, according to researchers at Cheetah Mobile Security Research Lab.
Security researchers claim that this trojan family is one of the largest ever, with millions of Android phones infected around the world. Based on Cheetah Mobile’s estimation, if the virus developer were able to make $0.50 (the average cost of getting a new installation) every time the virus installed an application on a smartphone, the group behind this trojan family would be able to make over $500,000 daily.
When a mobile phone is infected with the Hummer trojan, it will root the device to obtain administrator privileges on the system. It will then frequently pop up ads and silently install unnecessary or unwanted applications (even malware) in the background, which consumes a lot of network traffic. Since the Hummer trojan can gain the highest control over the phone system, ordinary anti-virus tools are not able to clear the trojan thoroughly – even performing a factory reset on the device won’t get rid of it.
Luckily Cheetah Mobile has updated its anti-virus products, CM Security, and Clean Master, to ensure users won’t be affected by Hummer. For those who are already infected with this virus, Cheetah Mobile’s trojan Killer app (available on Google Play for download ) will be able to easily help users remove this Trojan family from their device. Users can also get rid of it by flashing their devices.
Even after the number of phones infected has declined, Hummer is still infecting nearly 1 Million new devices per day, making it the most widespread trojan family in the world.
The researchers claim to have traced the source of the Trojan family to an “underground internet industry chain” in China, based on an email address linked to the domain names used by the malware.
India (154,248), Indonesia (92,889), Turkey (63,906), China (63,285) and Mexico (59,192) are the top five countries where Hummer has made most of its victims, but the Trojan is also infecting Android users in the U.S. and Europe.
Google’s Android mobile platform has been a primary target of attackers, so it’s better for you to avoid downloading apps from outside of the Google Play Store or untrusted sources.
You can read more about it here.