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New Android malware called xHelper is not removable

Here’s why you should take security updates seriously

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A new Android malware package has been discovered and researchers claim it’s impossible to kill it. More than 55,000 Android devices worldwide have been infected and Igor Golovin from Kasperksy Labs says it just won’t die.

Known as xHelper, the malware has been spreading mainly in Russia, Europe, and Southwest Asia. So far, it has infected devices running on Android v6 or v7. Even though your first thought would be that they’re years old and outdated when the world has reached Android 10, it’s worth noting that nearly 15 percent of devices worldwide still run on that system.

The malware called xHelper downloads a few more companion files after an intrusion, including one known as Triada. Triada provides xHelper with root access of the device, basically making it impossible to remove.

“The main feature of xHelper is entrenchment,” Igor explained. “Once it gets into the phone, it somehow remains there even after the user deletes it and restores the factory settings.”

From Kaspersky Labs

The malware has been spreading via unofficial app stores. This is the exact reason why Google has always stressed that you don’t install external packages and rely on its secure Play Store. It even has a service called “Play Protect” that ensures all apps listed on the marketplace are safe.

The malware disguises itself as a legit device “cleaning” app. That’s why these are also called Trojan Horse — a misleading app that hides its real motive behind a curtain of legitimacy.

Further, Igor said, “Malicious files are stored sequentially in the app’s data folder, which other programs do not have access to.” This conceals its presence and the malware can continue using tools that are already known to cybersecurity experts but are still not able to remove it.

This is also the primary reason why Google regularly pushes out monthly security updates to all Android phones. They contain patches for discovered vulnerabilities. This also explains why continuous software updates are crucial for online safety.

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Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership

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Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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Samsung offers $100 for Galaxy S23 preorders

Or the upcoming Galaxy Book

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The Galaxy S23 series is coming. Samsung has officially scheduled the first Galaxy Unpacked event of the year for early February, heralding the coming of the Galaxy S23 series. While the flagship series will certainly wow a lot of users, buying one might crumple bank accounts so soon after the holidays. Luckily, Samsung is holding an early reservation promo ahead of the Galaxy Unpacked event.

If you reserve either the new Galaxy S23 or the new Galaxy Book now, Samsung is giving away US$ 50 worth of Samsung Credit. Additionally, users can reserve both devices and get US$ 100 worth of credit for use on any eligible products in the store.

Simply by signing up with your email address, you can use this link to save up to US$ 100 when you shop with Samsung.

The promo ends next Wednesday, February 1, by 11:59pm EST.

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Apple halts development of in-house chip

Broadcom is still in

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Apple is currently on a quest to reduce its reliance on third-party components for its devices. For the most part, the company is successful in doing so. Apple Silicon is already an important part of the brand’s identity — with work on more in-house components ongoing. Now, Apple is reportedly pausing development on one of its upcoming chips.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will delay the development of its in-house connectivity chip. In the meantime, the brand will keep relying on Broadcom for the same components, going into the iPhone 15 series.

To be clear, the paused component only deals with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Apple is still developing its in-house modem for 5G connectivity — according to outside reports, at least. While the Broadcom deal will still continue, Qualcomm might still get the axe after Apple develops its replacement chip.

Given the positive response to Apple Silicon, building more in-house components might ultimately work well for the brand. If anything, the company can rest easier by controlling how one of its components is produced.

Besides Apple, other brands are also developing their in-house chipsets to rival component makers like Qualcomm. Google, for instance, is doing relatively well with the Tensor lineup. Additionally, though the upcoming series will rely on Qualcomm, Samsung is currently working to bring the Exynos lineup to match current standards.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 15 Rumor Roundup: Goodbye Pro Max, hello Ultra

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