It looks like a breakthrough for the bad guys that create spyware for mobile devices: a newly discovered Android malware program can actually track you after you’ve shut down your phone.
Well, after you think you’ve shut down your phone, anyway.
Recently spotted by AVG anti-virus software company, the malware (which affects Android phones, and which does not yet have a catchy nickname) tricks phone owners into thinking that they’ve shut down their devices. Pressing the power button on an infected phone calls up a fake Power Off button onto the screen. When tapped, only the phone’s screen, sound alerts, and notification lights are actually powered off.
While in this state, the spyware can reportedly make calls, take pictures, and send and receive messages.
The malware is hidden inside some apps found on Chinese app markets. So, if you’re not downloading apps from third-party Chinese app markets, you’re probably safe.
We’ve heard reports of hackers, and even the government, looking through computer and smartphone cameras remotely without owners being any the wiser. But those types of hacks had to be performed while owners were aware their devices were powered on. The introduction of this new malware looks to ruin any piece of mind that you may have once gained after allegedly “shutting off” your phone.