Sometimes a virus or malware infection can be so bad that the best solution is to completely wipe the device and start over with a factory reset. This can be pretty annoying. A new type of malware targeting Android devices just found a way to become even more annoying by being able to withstand a complete factory reset.
As of right now, it is suspected that xHelper has infected around 50,000 devices, which is a big number, but relatively low when it comes to malware of this type. The big names in cybersecurity, Symantec, Malwarebytes, and the like, don’t have any clear answers on how to actually remove the threat. If that’s not enough, deleting everything on your smartphone and doing a factory-reset won’t remove the malware either. Once you set your device back up, the threat will be back.
We have good news and some bad news. The good news is that right now, it seems that xHelper just gives you annoying pop-up spam and notifications. It’s goal? To get you to install more applications, and likely these applications could come with additional threats.
It is also suspected that xHelper can download and install apps on its own. It hasn’t been officially detected doing this in the wild yet, but if it could do that, then you would essentially lose control over your device.
As of right now, there is no way to uninstall xHelper, and even resetting your device to factory settings keeps the malware installed. There is essentially no help for you other than getting a new phone, or waiting for Google or one of the major players in cybersecurity to figure out a way to remove it. This could take a while…
The malware seems to get installed from scammy websites. The app isn’t found on the Google Play Store (at least at the time of writing this). Only install apps from the Google Play Store, and never from any other website. Google has a vetting process that keeps most apps on the Google Play Store relatively safe (it’s not a perfect system, but it does weed out most of the danger).
When it comes to cybersecurity, the best place to get started is being aware of the threats and employing safe habits. That, and ensuring that your business data is thoroughly protected. Don’t wait for a problem to happen, give Infradapt a call at 800.394.2301 today.