What is HummingBad and how to defend yourself

This is a particularly invasive malware, since if it penetrates mobile devices it takes control of them and can also install other dangerous apps

It is certainly not news that Android often ends up under hacker attack, hit by different types of malware. According to Check Point, a well-known Israeli cybersecurity company, HummingBad, along with Hiddad and Lotoor, is one of the most dangerous threats to the green robot.

It is a particularly invasive and above all devious malware, since if it manages to penetrate victims' devices it is able to perform a series of malicious actions, putting users' data at risk. At the moment, according to Check Point in a recent report, HummingBad has already affected 85 million Android devices, allowing its authors to pocket an insane amount of money: 300 thousand dollars per month. It would seem that behind the terrible malware there is a group of hackers based in China. The Israeli company spotted HummingBad in 2016, but its fraudulent activity started already a year earlier.

How it affects HummingBad

HummingBad affects devices running with Google's mobile operating system mainly by installing a rootkit, that is, a malicious program that allows hackers to obtain administrator privileges and thus take control of the smartphone. In this way, cyber criminals have the possibility to add other malware, including keyloggers, or to hack into emails and get hold of users' data.

As we said, HummingBad is very profitable for hackers, especially because the virus is also capable of displaying unsolicited advertisements on victims' devices, just like any other adware.

How to defend yourself

The malware has struck mainly in Asia. In fact, the top two places in this special and sad ranking are China and India. Countries where, for a variety of reasons, users often resort to unofficial stores to download applications. HummingBad hides inside many apps, most of which are freely available on the net.

To protect yourself from malware, and not only from HummingBad, you should avoid downloading apps from unknown markets, relying exclusively on the Google Play Store. The reason is simple: Android verifies apps before allowing developers to publish them online.