German cyber-security agency warns against buying or using four low-end smartphone models.
The German Federal Office for Information Security (or the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik — BSI) has issued security alerts today warning about dangerous backdoor malware found embedded in the firmware of at least four smartphone models sold in the country.
PHONES INFECTED WITH BACKDOOR TROJAN
The BSI said the phones’ firmware contained a backdoor trojan named Andr/Xgen2-CY.
UK cyber-security firm Sophos Labs first spotted this malware strain in October 2018. In a report it published at the time, Sophos said the malware was embedded inside an app named SoundRecorder, included by default on uleFone S8 Pro smartphones.
Sophos said Andr/Xgen2-CY was designed to work as an unremovable backdoor on infected phones.
The malware’s basic design was to start running once the phone was turned on, collect details about an infected phone, ping back its command-and-control server, and wait for future instructions.
According to Sophos, Andr/Xgen2-CY could collect data such as:
- The device’s phone number
- Location information, including longitude, latitude, and a street address
- IMEI identifier and Android ID
- Screen resolution
- Manufacturer, model, brand, OS version
- CPU information
- Network type
- MAC address
- RAM and ROM size
- SD Card size
- Language and country
- Mobile phone service provider