Cheetah Mobile, which is one of the largest app developer group in the world has just cautioned users about a new malware called ‘Ghost Push’. This malware is seemingly impacting 14,846 types of phones consisting of 3,658 brands.
It is said that over 1,44,199 devices are said to be impacted in India alone. On a global scale, it is said that nearly 1.3 million Android devices are currently suffering from this malware.
As of now, Cheetah Mobile has managed to spot 39 applications that send out the Ghost Push malware to Android devices, although the group has not listed them out yet.
Cheetah Mobile explained that the virus works by installing unwanted apps – such as ‘Monkey test’ and ‘Time service’ – on a user’s device, which cannot be easily removed even after performing a factory reset or using typical antivirus software.
After gaining root access, the virus has been known to download ads, slow down devices, drain battery life and consume significant cellular data from the Android Device.
Ultimately, the hackers are looking to make money from these ads and apps that are being downloaded by unsuspecting users, the security researchers said.
The company said it first became aware of the issue after more and more users were asking for help on how to remove these uninstallable apps from their devices.
Luckily, the malware only affects apps that are downloaded from third party sources, so you’re probably safe if you download apps exclusively from the Google Play Store. Cheetah Mobile has mentioned that two of its apps known as Clean Master and CM Security are capable of spotting these malicious apps and will help with the removal.
If you frequently download apps from non-Play Store sources, you might want to have a look at this. Google has worked exhaustively to remove malware impacted applications from the Play Store. But given the openness of the Android platform, malware can make its way to the devices quite easily through various other sources.