Malicious content isn’t too hard to stumble upon if you are working with 3rd party apps and services. Just recently, Cheetah Mobile unearthed a new security threat that they are calling ‘Ghost Push’ which will affect your device if you aren’t careful while downloading apps from non-Play Store origins.
The virus, if caught on your smartphone, is said to be very difficult to get rid of and will install unwanted apps that could get on your nerves and cause other serious damage.
According to Cheetah Mobile, this new virus is affecting more than 600,000 users on a daily basis. The security firm said it has “affected 14,847 phone types and 3,658 brands.” The virus, Cheetah believes, is delivered via malware and is spread through commercial SDK or browser ads.
If you know even a little bit about software security, you would know that that’s one of the easiest ways to get into a system and stay there for a long time.
The virus is said to be almost impossible to remove, even if you perform a good virus scan and a factory reset and will stay in the system, installing unwanted apps and slowing down your smartphone. Once it has got a good hold of the software, the virus is said to gain root access and do stuff like slowing it down, draining its battery and even consuming lots of cellular data.
Cheetah Mobile, being one of the first to detect this security threat, has released ways of finding out if you have been affected by ‘Ghost Push’. You could download Clean Master and CM Security to find out if your device has been compromised. Or, you could work it out all on your own using this tutorial by Cheetah.
WiFi Enhancer, TimeService, Assistive Touch, All-star Fruit Slash, MonkeyTest, Super Mario, Simple Flashlight and Amazon are a few of the 39 apps (for now) that Cheetah wants you to be careful before downloading. The apps may appear all normal, looking at them as their labels might seem pretty harmless. But diving a bit deeper and looking at their package names will tell you a whole new story. If you see package names like “com.abc.yinhe”, then you should avoid such apps.
Another precaution you could take is that you should download apps only from the developers’ official site.