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Mobile devices haven’t been known to have a lot of faults when it comes to security, but when a really bad malware attack does happen, the best solution may be to wipe the device and start over from a factory reset. Currently, there is a malware targeting Android devices that is so resilient that it can even withstand a factory reset.
As of this writing it is estimated that 50,000 devices have been infected with xHelper, a new strain of mobile malware that won’t just go away. Some of the biggest names in cybersecurity: Symantec, Malwarebytes, and more, don’t have any real answers on how to mitigate xHelper as of yet. Not even the deletion of all your data and a factory reset can remove it. If you contract the malware, you will effectively have to get a whole new device.
The good news is that, as of now, xHelper just annoys users with pop-up spam and phantom notifications with the intention of getting you to install more applications that probably carry additional threats. This may not seem like a problem until you realize that xHelper has shown to download and install these nefarious apps on its own. Since it hasn’t been detected in the wild yet, cyber security experts aren’t exactly sure, but if this is true, you would lose control over your device if you do accidently download xHelper.
Since you can’t uninstall the malware if you do contract it, there is currently no way to get rid of it. This means you need to be super vigilant in the websites you go to on your mobile device. The malicious app isn’t found on the Google Play Store (at least currently), so any app you install should be downloaded from there. Since Google has a thorough vetting process for the apps it allows on the Play store, it is currently the only way to ensure that the software you are installing won’t have the chance of carrying the xHelper malware.