Ghost Push TROJAN on Play Store
A new Trojan called Ghost Push has been wreaking havoc on thousands of Android devices across the world, Cheetah Mobile has reported. The report suggests that Indians have been the worst hit. It hides itself within popular apps and has made its way into various marketplaces, including Google Play Store. It reportedly gains root access and automatically downloads unwanted apps and ads.
The Ghost Push Trojan is reported to have infected over 900,000 Android devices in 116 countries so far. It was discovered by Cheetah Mobile on September 18. It spreads by binding itself to popular apps that can be downloaded from official app markets. Since it gains root access to the devices, it has been reported that the malware is also notoriously difficult to remove. Although it had managed to sneak past the strict security measures of Google’s Play Store, all the infected apps have been reportedly taken down. “With this user base, the virus developer is able to set up a marketing promotion company and become a mobile dealer. Then they have the qualifications to cooperate with ad sponsors, making money by distributing products for advertisers,” Cheetah Mobile says. According to estimates, the developers can make as much as 4.05 million dollars a day.
Figures collated by Cheetah Mobile suggest that India has the maximum number of infected devices. It is followed by Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, and Russia. Most of the infected devices seem to be concentrated in South and South-east Asia. The developers being mostly Chinese, the Trojan has made its into the apps made by Chinese vendors. The Ghost Push malware has been found to infect almost all the major Android versions from Gingerbread onwards. Some of the major manufacturers to have been hit with the virus are Samsung, Lenovo, Micromax, Xiaomi, Huawei, etc.
Owing to the pesky nature of the Trojan, standard anti-virus software may not be able to completely remove it. Cheetah Mobile has developed a special Ghost Push Trojan Killer app to get rid of the virus. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.