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Hello Android users! Time to be on the lookout.

A new type of malware that can root your phone and secretly install unwanted programs has been discovered in legitimate-looking apps by Trend Micro.

Dubbed “Godless,” the Malware targets devices running Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and earlier, which accounts for more than 90 percent of Android devices.

The malware hides inside an app and uses exploits to try to root the OS on your phone using various exploits which include installing spyware.

A newer variant of the Malware can bypass security checks at app stores.

According to Trend Micro,  the malicious apps they saw which were affected range from utility apps like flashlights and Wi-Fi apps, to copies of popular gamed.
So far, Trend says it has seen 850,000 affected devices, with almost half in India and more in other southeast Asian countries.

Global distribution of affected devices
Global distribution of affected devices

When downloading apps, regardless if it’s a utility tool or a popular game, users should always review the developer.

Unknown developers with very little or no background information may be the source of these malicious apps. And as a general rule, it is always best to download apps from trusted stores such as Google Play and Amazon.