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back to article Researchers warn of preloaded spyware in Android handsets

Security firm G-Data is warning users about their discovery of malware shipping preinstalled on some Chinese mobile phones. The German researchers said that they followed up on customer tips to study the Star N9500 mobile phone. The handsets, sold on eBay and many other online retail sites, are said to primarily be shipped out …

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Holmes

Malwarebytes for Android free

Been using it recently. Seems like a fairly similar experience to the desktop version - real time scanning, some daily schedule scans. Haven't noticed any performance hit at all. It's in the Google play store.

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FAIL

Re: Malwarebytes for Android free

Why yes, all the cheapskates who bought this Chinese knockoff should just download this AV software from the fake Play store and it'll magically purify the phone and remove the trojan embedded in the firmware.

Oh dear. Go peddle your non-solutions somewhere else.

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Devil

Re: Malwarebytes for Android free

they just need to download one of the many "Android security" suites that are offered on various dodgy web pages and sideload it. I am sure it will also speed up the phone significantly.

You get what you pay for - and sometimes you get a bit more than you thought.

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Holmes

Re: Malwarebytes for Android free

@sandtitz - I wasn't trolling (for once). I don't think Malwarebytes will do any good on compromised hardware like this Chinese handset. I was just throwing it out there that I found the app useful on Android, nothing more. And I wouldn't download any Android security software from a non-play store location. Just like I wouldn't recommend anyone download security software for an iPhone from a non-iTunes site.

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Anonymous Coward

"...€165..."

The wifey's shiney new iPhone 5S Gold 32GB was only about $100 (~€68) more. We could have selected a top of the line Android for about the same, or perhaps a bit less.

Yes, that's under a two year data plan commitment, but what exactly is the point of having a smartphone if you don't have a data plan? Unless you plan to drink a great deal of coffee, tethered to your local free wifi.

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Re: "...€165..."

A phone for when you're out and about, and a handy pocket computer for when you're at home (or in any other suitable wifi spot). Not everyone wants to suck down data when they're out and about, and not everyone wants to fire up a laptop just to check facebook at home.

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The Only Real Fix

Root and install alternative (hopefully malware free) firmware

Some info at good ole XDA:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2247537&page=12

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Re: The Only Real Fix

Rooting and installing new firmware is great for Reg readers, but not something a typical consumer will ever do. The solution for westerners is to not buy a cheap no-name brand you've never heard of, but pay more for a Samsung, LG, or whatever. The low end of their lines is pretty cheap, even if it costs more than the low end of the Chinese market.

For China based customers it is a more difficult problem. Those who can afford to spend a bit more can get a name brand - and obviously there are name brands in China we're not familiar with that they'd recognize and feel are safe. Those who can't just have to cross their fingers and hope, because something that's compromised at the factory is not going to be fixed or necessarily even detected by software that is added later.

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Anonymous Coward

And this surprises anyone?

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Researchers believe that the malware performs a number of basic spyware functions such as listening in on phone and SMS conversations, reading email messages, and collecting mobile browsing information and account data.

Don't Panic! It's just the Chinese government selling that information on to GCHQ / NSC or whatever.

The solution for westerners is to not buy a cheap no-name brand you've never heard of, but pay more for a Samsung, LG, or whatever.

Perhaps not everyone is as rich as you, but still wants 'nice things'. Also, does this mean you're advocating the closure of all Pound shops, market stalls and other poor people shops?

Also, you can go to malwarebytes site and it directs you to (I'm assuming) the real play store or Amazon to download the mobile app.

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