Security firm Lookout is warning for a new piece of Android malware that it claims is virtually impossible to remove for the average user. The new malware is making the rounds in third-party app stores and poses as popular, legitimate apps like Candy Crush, Facebook, Snapchat and Whatsapp. Once a user downloads and installs the infected app, the malware secretly roots the phone and installs itself as a system application that serves up ads:
The malicious apps provide exactly the same functionality as the legitimate apps they impersonate, Lookout said, and can secretly root a phone and itself as a system application, making it "virtually impossible to get rid of".
Once up and running, adverts will be thrown up on the smartphone screen, and the hackers behind the adware will even be able to install apps on the device without consent.
Michael Bentley, Lookout's head of research and response, said: "These malicious apps root the device unbeknownst to the user. To add insult to injury, victims will likely not be able to uninstall the malware, leaving them with the option of seeking professional help to remove it or simply purchasing a new device."