In February, a researcher detailed a widely circulating Android backdoor that’s so pernicious that it survives factory resets, a trait that makes the malware impossible to remove without taking unusual measures.
The analysis found that the unusual persistence was the result of rogue folders containing a trojan installer, neither of which was removed by a reset. The trojan dropper would then reinstall the backdoor in the event of a reset. Despite those insights, the researcher still didn’t know precisely how that happened. Now, a different researcher has filled in the missing pieces. More about that later. First, a brief summary of xHelper.
A backdoor with superuser rights
The malicious Android app poses as a performance enhancer that removes old and unneeded files. Antivirus provider Malwarebytes has detected it on 33,000 devices, mainly located in the United States, while AV from Russia-based Kaspersky Lab found it on 50,000 devices. There’s no evidence xHelper has ever been distributed through Google Play.
Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments