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Steve Weatherbe

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Beware of ‘trojan’ that could infiltrate Android phones with porn apps

Steve Weatherbe
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July 12, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — More than a million Android mobile devices a day are being infected with a pernicious “trojan” that fills them with porn and other unwanted applications and might be billing the phone owner for apps and subscriptions that will never be seen or used.

The trojan has been named “Hummer” by Cheetah Mobile, a Chinese web security firm that has been watching it spread around Southeast Asia since 2014, but rival web security firm Kasperky has also spotted it and dubbed it “Trojan.AndroidOS.Iop.”

Cheetah Mobile’s speculates that Hummer’s creators are Chinese, and that they are likely making as much as $500,000 a day.

A trojan takes its name from the hollow wooden horse of classical Greek mythology built by those besieging Troy as an apparent peace offering. When the Trojans rolled it into their citadel, soldiers sprang out to open the gates. Web trojans appear to be legitimate applications that when downloaded and opened take over the hardware’s administration function and import other applications. “It will then frequently pop up ads and silently install unnecessary and unwanted applications (even malware) in the background,” Cheetah said in its release.  

Among 25 countries affected, China is the leader, followed by India , Mexico, and Turkey. But it also has impacted Germany and other European countries, Nigeria and the United States.

Cheetah speculates that Hummer's unknown producers in China make 50 cents per installation, partly by forcing ads onto the phones, but doesn’t make clear who is paying the $500,000 it figures those producers are earning daily: phone owners, advertisers, or both?

According to reports by PC World and others,  Hummer “fills your phone with porn apps.” Cheetah claims to have developed a countermeasure named “Killer.” 

How can mobile phone users keep trojans out? According to the Pocketnow.com website, phone owners should check the Internet for reviews and warnings about any new app before installing it. Also, they should “read the permissions” that must be granted before installing a new app.

“If you don’t think that battery saver needs access to send text messages, for example, cancel the install.” And avoid what Pockenow.com calls “shady apps” — applications that seem to good to be true, or claim to enable an illegal activity.

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