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We all know about the threat of malware. We know our PC can get infected, we know our mobile device can get infected. Sometimes, it’s even possible for our PC to infect our mobile device, but did you know your mobile device can be used to infect your PC? A new threat discovered by Kaspersky Lab researchers disguises itself as a system cleaner for Android, and when it gets the chance, infects your PC and takes over your microphone.

The app in question is called “Superclean”, and also has an identical twin by the name of “DroidCleaner”. Both apps have been removed from Google Play by now, but they serve as a reminder to beware of unknown apps. Once downloaded, the app lists all running processes on the device and restarts them – apparently doing its job – but it also downloads three malicious files (autorun.inf, folder.ico, svchosts.exe) in the background, one of which is in fact Backdoor.MSIL.Ssucl.a.

Once connected to a PC running an older version of Windows, the autorun component is launched, and the malware is executed. The trojan takes control of your PC’s microphone, enables it, and uses it to record you and upload the results to the malware’s developers.

According to Kaspersky, the malware is aimed at users with lower-end Android devices who are looking for speed-up solutions, and those running older versions of Windows where the AutoRun still works. In addition to installing a trojan on your PC, the app also includes the following capabilities:

  • Sending SMS messages
  • Enabling Wi-Fi
  • Gathering information about the device
  • Opening arbitrary links in a browser
  • Uploading the SD card’s entire contents
  • Uploading an arbitrary file (or folder) to the master’s server
  • Uploading all SMS messages
  • Deleting all SMS messages
  • Uploading all the contacts/photos/coordinates from the device to the master

The lesson? Protect your mobile device, and try to stick to apps with many downloads and reviews. If you’re looking for legit ways to enhance Droid’s abilties, check out this guide on speeding up Android How to Make Android Faster: What Works, and What Doesn't How to Make Android Faster: What Works, and What Doesn't Get your Android device to run faster with these tips and tricks. Read More , or this one on freeing up Android storage space How to Free Storage Space on Your Android Device How to Free Storage Space on Your Android Device If you've run out of storage space on your Android phone or tablet, we can help you free it up. Read More .


What do you think of this new infection? Will it make you more wary when installing apps?

Source: SecureList

Image credit: virus image via Shutterstock, USB image via Shutterstock

  1. Frank Plaatjies
    February 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I've got about 12 GB of data and only 30MB of data pm. they won't get very far with my device lol!

    Is lookout still one of the best AV for android devices?

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      With a 4.5 rating and almost 400,000 reviews on Google Play, I'd say it is. :) It's the one I use, anyway.

      • Frank Plaatjies
        February 11, 2013 at 7:55 am

        Well MakeUseOf did recommend it XD! either way some people have to much time on their hands to create malware and virus's. it gets annoying especially if you work in the IT sector.

  2. Matheus Pratta
    February 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

    When installing new apps I always check their recommendations, to see what people think about it.
    I also scan my new apps with my Android's antivirus (Kaspersky) just to add some extra level of protection...
    For my computer, I always leave both Firewall and the Antivirus software running, and also disabled autorun, so it won't do any harm to me..

    And also, like Nevzat suggested: don't click every link on the web.

  3. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 5, 2013 at 6:45 am

    * keep auto-run disabled, * always show file extensions on the File Explorer * keep your anti-virus and firewall enabled and updated * keep Windows updated * don't click every clickable link on the internet.

    These are my advices.

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Excellent advices, thanks!

      • Nevzat Akkaya
        February 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        my pleasure :)

  4. Jake Thompson
    February 5, 2013 at 1:39 am

    I always keep auto-run disabled and I like to try to stay on-top of automated tasks on my computer. I honestly feel like it would be very hard for my computer and/or mobile device(s) to be severely infected by malware. I don't mean to sound like a super arrogant know-it-all, but I feel confident in my technological knowledge and skills to not have to be afraid of viral threats :)

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 5, 2013 at 6:41 am

      It has nothing to do with being arrogant. :) If you're aware of the dangers and take precautions, the chances of getting infected really are slim. That said, malware is getting really sophisticated, the backwards ways it can infect you just keeps surprising me.

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