Science

As many as 85 million Android devices infected

10 Jul 2016 | By Shiladitya
Malware infects millions of Android devices

Mobile security company Check Point released a report which says that as many as 85 million Android devices may have been infected by a malware called HummingBad.

Check Point first detected HummingBad in February 2016, and tracked its origins to a group of cybercriminals in China.

It is estimated that HummingBad generates around $300,000 monthly for its creators by generating fraudulent ad revenue.

In context: Malware infects millions of Android devices

YingmobMeet the hackers

Check Point researchers followed the command and control (CC) servers used by the original HummingBad malware detected in February 2016, and tracked its repositories which belong to Yingmob, a Chinese mobile ad server company.

It has a highly organized team of 25 individuals responsible for development of HummingBad.

The team sits in Level 5, Xingdu Plaza, 73 Beiqu Road, Yuzhong, Chongqing in China.

Victims by Android OS versions

Check Point's research showed that among HummingBad's victims, 50% were Android KitKat users, 40% were Android Jelly Bean users, 7% were Android Lollipop users, 2% were Android Ice Cream Sandwich users, and the remaining 1% were Android Marshmallow users.
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The shocking implications of HummingBad's presence

ImplicationsThe shocking implications of HummingBad's presence

Although Yingmob is making a lot of money off HummingBad, financial gain is just the tip of the iceberg.

Any data on the infected Android devices are at risk, and Yingmob have the potential to sell access to the infected devices to the highest bidder.

Furthermore, Yingmob can carry out targeted attacks on government agencies and businesses using data from the infected devices.

CountermeasuresGoogle releases largest set of Android security updates

Google recently released its largest set of Android security updates.

In an announcement Google said, "We've long been aware of this evolving family of malware and we're constantly improving our systems that detect it. We actively block installations of infected apps to keep users and their information safe."

The new updates addressed more than 108 security vulnerabilities in Android operating systems.

Victims by countries

Check Point's research also showed that the highest number of affected devices were in China, followed by India both of whom had numbers in the millions. Meanwhile USA, Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Bangladesh, Russia all had over 100,000 infected devices.

10 Jul 2016As many as 85 million Android devices infected