Advanced Malware That Can Snoop on your Android Phone When Off

Are you sure that your smartphone shuts down when you press the power button? AVG mobile malware investigation team has discovered a new and advanced malware dubbed “Android/PowerOffHijack” that is spreading like bush fire in Chinese app stores.

The increase in spy movies that involves the main characters using spyware to collect information from mobile phones has created a preconception that the same cannot be replicated in real life. Cyber criminals have being busy and have managed to create, Android/PowerOffHijack, a malware that tricks Android smartphone users to think that they have switched off their phones.

When you press the power button, the malware takes over the phone operating system and displays a dummy shut down window that looks authentic. The smartphone’s screen will turn black to convince you that it is indeed off, but in reality, the malware has just countered the shutdown process, reduced the screen display brightness, disabled notification lights, and turned off sound alerts.

According to a report made public by AVG team, once the malware takes over, the phone can be used to make calls, take pictures using the camera and many other tasks without your consent. It is estimated that more than 10,000 Android phones are infected with this malware and soon this virus will hit the United States where the number of people who use Android smartphones tends to increase by the day.

Fortunately, not all people will be affected by this malware, as it can only be installed on previous Android version, that is, below v.5 (lollipop) version. Downloading mobile applications from trusted platforms such as Google Play will reduce your risk of falling prey to this program.

Nonetheless, you still need to have antivirus software installed on all your Android devices, as Google Play and other top rated app stores do not have the full capability to counter all malicious programs.