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Redmi Note 6 Pro

[Other] 45,000 Android devices infected by new unremovable xHelper malware

2019-11-01 02:21:24
1170 17

Hei MIUIers Fans
A new kind of Android malware capable of reinstalling itself even after being manually removed has reportedly infected more than 45,000 Android devices over the last six months.

Called xHelper, the Trojan — affecting mostly users in India, the US, and Russia — has since shot up to the top 10 list of most detected mobile malware, with Symantec observing what it calls “a surge in detections” of the malicious Android malware that can hide itself from users, download additional malicious apps, and display advertisements.
“In the past month alone, there was an average of 131 devices infected each day, and an average of 2,400 devices persistently infected throughout the month,” the company said. It’s worth noting that MalwareBytes had pegged the number of affected phones at 33,000, suggesting a rapid increase in just over two months.
Mysterious origins:
While the exact origins of the malicious app packed with the Xhelper malware is being actively investigated, Symantec suspects the infection is possibly downloaded by users from unknown sources via a malicious system app that’s persistently downloading the malware despite users performing factory resets and manually uninstalling it.
MalwareBytes researchers, on the other hand, believe it’s being spread via shady game websites that trick unsuspecting users into downloading apps from untrusted third-party sources.
Aside from operating silently in the background, xHelper takes its stealth behavior to new heights by not creating an app icon or a shortcut icon on the home screen launcher. The only indicator is a listing in the app info section of the infected phone’s settings.
The lack of an app icon means the malware cannot be launched manually. But to get around the problem, it relies on external triggers — like connecting or disconnecting the infected device from a power supply, rebooting a device, or installing or uninstalling an app — to run itself as a foreground service that minimizes the chance of getting killed.

From adware to potent threat:
The good news, if there can be one, is that the malware doesn’t do anything particularly sophisticated, other than bombarding device owners with intrusive pop-up ads and spam the device with notifications for free games. But it could be deftly exploited to deliver additional second-stage malware payloads given its meticulously crafted evasion tactics to avoid detection.
This could easily morph the malware from an adware annoyance to a significant security threat capable of installing other malicious applications on the device or even remotely taking over the device entirely.
Symantec said xHelper’s functionality has expanded drastically in recent times, although the researchers warn it’s constantly evolving to target new victims. The unfinished code — with many variables labeled as ‘Jio‘ — has led the researchers to suspect that the attackers may be planning to target Jio users at a future date.
For those who are unfamiliar, Jio is the second largest cellular network in India operated by Reliance Industries boasting of over 300 million subscribers.
To safeguard your devices from such attacks, it’s always recommended that you keep devices and apps up-to-date, stick to the Google Play Store for downloading apps, and be extremely cautious of the mobile websites you visit.

Redmi Note 6 Pro Sub-forum Management Team
2019-11-01 02:21:24
Favorites8 RateRate

Semi Pro Bunny

nygyorgy | from Redmi Note 8 Pro


Great, thank you
2019-11-01 02:41:07


BeingBishal | from MI 9 SE


Thanks for information!
2019-11-01 03:14:03

Pro Bunny

azhari9 | from Redmi Note 4


thanks. informative
2019-11-01 03:34:36

Master Bunny

Focaccero | from Redmi Note 4


Thank you for this important information! Downloading 3rd party apps is always a security risk.
2019-11-01 04:02:37

Advanced Bunny

Cekicha | from Mi A3


i have pretty much the same problem when i downloaded a game and after restarting the phone every time i unlock the phone, advertisement pops on screen. I looked at the phone applications list and found app without icon and with strange name on the bottom of the list with applications. Uninstall it from phone and 2 weeks a had no problems.
Very sorry for my bad English.
2019-11-01 04:45:52

Advanced Bunny

1720049146 | from Redmi Note 7


thank's for information
2019-11-01 05:57:24

Master Bunny

ถั่วงอก | from Redmi Note 6 Pro


thanks you so much Excellent
2019-11-01 06:33:42

Master Bunny

6229045758 | from Redmi 5A


Thanks for sharing
2019-11-01 07:19:22

Master Bunny

6228810115 | from Redmi 5A


Thanks for your information
2019-11-01 08:32:38

Resource Team

iMKajal | from MI 8


Informative Thread!
2019-11-01 09:48:14
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