This is a piece of news that I had planned to comment on a while ago, last month researchers from the company G Data detected a Trojan that came factory installed in the Star N9500 mobile, a Chinese-origin clone of the Samsung Galaxy.
The cell phone is popular for its low price, which ranges from $ 150 to $ 200, but came with a small hidden gift. It all started when clients using G Data antivirus started to report the detection of a threat, it turned out that it was a Trojan called Android.Trojan.Uupay.D that was camouflaged as Google Play and came installed from the factory.
As if this were not enough, once it was detected it could not be easily eliminated either because it was part of the device firmware. According to the information shared by G Data, it operates in a hidden way allowing full control over the cell phone and they even detected that it was sending data to an anonymous server in China.
What many wonder is whether the manufacturer intentionally installed the malware or was it a cybercriminal who managed to ingest it in some way during its production. I have been looking for updated news about it to see if the company gave any explanation, but there are none and G Data did not update the article again. I also didn't find Star's official page.
I remember that when reading the news, the first thing I did was search the model in Google to find out what it was like and the first result that appeared was from Amazon, but the publication had been removed and was only accessible from the cache. Currently the Star N9500 is no longer found on the portal and other stores such as eBay banned its publication for sale.
Nowadays, Trojans in mobile phones are becoming a real problem because you don't have to be an expert to use them and take control of a cell phone. It is enough to have physical access for a few minutes, follow a few simple instructions and voila… you get calls, photos, messages, WhatsApp conversations, you can even activate the microphone to record the ambient sound. One of the companies that offers this service is stealthgenie.com.
To avoid being spied basically you have to do 3 things:
– Install an antivirus, although it is not active all the time, at least it is advisable to carry out an analysis from time to time.
– Download only applications from official stores, on Android for example 99% of malwares are outside of Google Play so it is really very difficult to end up infected if only known applications are downloaded from this market.
– Be careful where the cell phone is left because in just 5 minutes someone with bad intentions can put a Trojan in it and possibly we will never realize it. Placing a lock code is essential (other than 1234) and better if you do not use the system where you have to slide your finger, because it leaves marks on the screen and guessing the pattern could be simple as Guillermo shows in this article of technovortex. com.
Also if they do not install a Trojan, depending on our mobile company, they could activate geolocation by SMS as offered by Antel from Uruguay and Movistar in Argentina.
And a bonus: disable the preview of the text messages, they could use this functionality to change your passwords as I mentioned in this article.