85M Android Phones Hacked, 10M Infected By ‘Hummingbird’ Malware
A disturbing new malware called “Hummingbird” has been discovered since February of this year, but it wasn’t until recently that the existence of the security threat has been fully understood. Infecting nearly 10 million Android devices all over the world, the malware is reportedly raking in at least $300,000 a month for its makers. As for its makers, the group responsible for the malware also reportedly controls more than 85 million devices through a variety of fake apps and other security threats.
The security research firm Check Point discovered the malware designated as “Hummingbird” back in February of this year, and the group behind the malware has been installing fakes apps on the phones of the victims, prompting many of them to keep using said apps and making those responsible a lot of money. Speaking of the group, “Check Point” also discovered that the individuals have ties to the multimillion-dollar advertising agency in Beijing called “Yingmob.”
"Yingmob has several teams developing legitimate tracking and ad platforms," Check Point’s analysis read. "The team responsible for developing the malicious components is the 'Development Team for Overseas Platform' which includes four groups with a total of 25 employees."
The malware can breach the phone’s security through repeated downloads when visiting sites. This is done until the phone is under the complete control of the group. If the incremental downloads don’t work, users are given fake update notifications, which then download the data directly.
CNET recently provided users with a method of finding out if their devices are infected by the malware, with an obvious method including downloading a security app that will scan the device. Once infection is confirmed, the only safe way to get rid of it would be to restore the device to factory settings, which is not a palatable thought to many users. Even so, the alternative would be to be a cyber-security expert, so there’s not much of a choice there.