Security researchers have discovered a malware named RottenSys, which is pre-installed on nearly 5 million popular smartphones worldwide.
The malware comes disguised as an application called "System Wi-Fi" and is pre-installed on millions of brand new Honor, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, Samsung and GIONEE smartphones.
All of these affected devices were sold through the Chinese mobile phone distributor Tian Pai, based in Hangzhou, but there is no proof that the company is involved in this fraud.
According to Check Point Mobile Security Team, the team that uncovered this scam, RottenSys is an advanced malware that does not provide any secure Wi-Fi service, but instead receives almost all the sensitive rights from an Android device to trigger its malicious activity.
To cover its activity, the fake System Wi-Fi application is initially installed without the malware and does not immediately start malicious activity. After a while, RottenSys communicates with the servers that check it to get various malicious code packages.
RottenSys then downloads and installs these packages using the "DOWNLOAD_WITHOUT_NOTIFICATION" license that does not require any user action or permission.
At this time, this malware delivers to all infected devices an adware item that displays pop-ups on the device's home screen as pop-ups. Even full-screen ads have been reported, with the goal of generating advertising revenue.
According to Check Point researchers, malware has offered its creators over 115.000 dollars only in the last 10 days. The survey also revealed that RottenSys administrators have already begun turning millions of these infected devices into a massive botnet.
How to Check and Remove RottenSys Malware
To check if your device is infected with this malware, go to "Settings" and then "Installed Applications" (Settings> App Manager) and then look for the following possible malware package names:
- com.android.yellowcalendarz (daily diary)
- com.changmi.launcher (desktop)
- com.android.services.securewifi (System WIFI)
If any of the above apps are listed in your installed apps list, simply uninstall it.