A new type of malware, Ghost Push has been discovered by Cheetah Mobile, the fourth largest publisher of applications worldwide as per App Annie. Distributed through non-Google app stores, this virus hasaffected 14,846 types of phone and 3,658 brands. According to CM Security Research Lab, it’s the most widespread and infectious virus it’s seen to date. So far it’s been affecting 1.3 million devices globally.
Currently, India has 1,44,199 devices being affected by this virus and is ranked as No.2 in terms of the amount of devices being affected. The virus is mainly spread through Europe, Russia, the Middle East region, and southern China. Cheetah Mobile has so far discovered 39 apps that contains the virus.
Ghost Push installs unwanted applications like ‘Monkey test’ or ‘Times service’ on the device. These applications cannot be removed easily even by doing a factory reset or using normal antivirus software. The malware slows down the system, drains the battery and consumes large amounts of cellular data. Disguised as legitimate applications, Ghost Push can spread itself widely via commercial SDKs or browser ads.
Cheetah Mobile’s applications, Clean Master and CM Security can now detect the infection. CM Security Research Lab is also currently developing a toolkit aimed specifically at Ghost Push removal, which will keep the phone safe.