What is Xenomorph?
ThreatFabric, a company specializing in information security, announced the discovery of a dangerous Xenomorph virus targeting Android devices. The virus is disguised in the Fast Cleaner application. It is noted that at the moment, Xenomorph has infected more than 50 thousand devices.
After installation on a mobile device, Xenomorph collects information about the smartphone and the owner, sending them to its creators, and also tries to get to important financial information in order to carry out monetary transactions without the knowledge of the owner of the gadget.
The virus can also intercept incoming messages and notifications (apparently, to extract one-time secret codes from them), forcibly output its own information on top of other applications. Experts emphasize that the functionality of Xenomorph can be expanded in the future. You may follow this guide to remove Xenomorph virus from Android smartphones and tablets.
What actions can Xenomorph perform after obtaining the rights
As soon as the malware gets these rights, it will be able to execute commands and simulate touching the display. While for the owner of the device, these actions will be invisible. Moreover, it can perfom the following actions:
- Intercept and block app notifications;
- Set yourself as an SMS sending the application by default;
- Use USSD commands;
- Make phone calls;
- Steal contact lists;
- Show phishing screens on top of other apps.
The virus can also counteract its removal from the device.
What should I do to avoid getting infected with the Xenomorph virus?
Please note that your phone and personal data are safe until you download the app from the SMS link and install it. Even if you missed this moment, know that Xenomorph does not have full control over the device, unless the user himself gives access to the “Accessibility service” function. Keep this in mind when giving permissions to unfamiliar applications to enable this option.
With the growing number of mobile device users, the number of viruses has also increased. If earlier Trojans that change settings and infect other files (for example, Skulls for Symbian) were the most dangerous, then modern hacker developments are able to make the gadget stop turning on, deleting the information necessary for the OS. To avoid similar situations in the future:
- Prohibit installations from third-party sources in the settings. You will still be able to download games, movies, music, books, programs from the Play Market store, files in which are manually and automatically checked;
- Download the antivirus. Do not abuse this point – just one such application is enough, simultaneous use of several will cause the device to slow down;
- Check the permissions of the existing software, remove the checkboxes from the “Change system settings” item for services that do not belong to reliable publishers, such as Google.
Recommended Anti-malware tool:
Reset to Factory Settings
It will not be so easy to remove the application from the device. Definitely, it is necessary to reset the device to factory settings. Keep in mind that this will lead to the loss of personal data. Before performing the procedure, perform a backup.
- Start up your device in Recovery Mode using previous instruction
- Select the “Factory Reset” option, a notification will appear that it is impossible to reverse the changes;
- After completing the process, restart the phone by clicking on “Reboot“.