Some Android phones that have not been certified by Google appear to come pre-installed with malware, displaying malicious ads for apps and games that pop up while users are browsing the web.
A new report from Avast Threat Labs found that phones made by Chinese tech giant ZTE and smaller firms such as Archos and myPhone were shipping with dodgy software built in.
Avast says the issue has hit hundreds of smartphones. While Google certifies devices from major mobile makers, it’s still possible to make an Android phone without the Big G being involved in the process.
Those who click on the popup ads and install the games and apps being promoted could find their personal data being stolen. Avast said that the UK was one of a number of countries where the issue had been discovered.
Google says that its Play Protect software should disable any malware, but that it was also targeting the affected devices using ‘internally developed techniques’.
As ever, it pays to only download apps and software through official channels and to only give private information to trusted sources.
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