A family of malware called Godless has affected over 8,50,000 devices worldwide, according to a report on Trend Micro. The report says more than half (46.19 per cent) of the devices alone have been affected in India, followed by Indonesia at 10.27 per cent and Thailand at 9.47 per cent.
“We came across a family of mobile malware called Godless (detected as ANDROIDOS_GODLESS.HRX) that has a set of rooting exploits in its pockets,” says Trend Micro.
The site reveals Godless can target any Android device running Android 5.1 Lollipop or earlier. Malicious apps with Godless can be found on prominent app stores, including Google Play. It claims 90 per cent devices globally are already running on affected versions.
The site explains that once users download a malicious app, the malware waits until the device’s screen is turned off. It then roots the device and drops a payload as a system app that cannot be easily removed.
The malware installs unwanted apps on user’s device, leading to unwanted apps. In fact, these threats can also be used to install backdoors and spy on users, according to the site.
Users can however, restore to better practices when it comes to downloading app to avoid malware. “When downloading apps, regardless if it’s a utility tool or a popular game, users should always review the developer. Unknown developers with very little or no background information may be the source of these malicious apps,” says Veo Zhang, Mobile Threats Analyst.
He adds it is always best to download apps from trusted stores such as Google Play and Amazon.