For some reason, people who get their hands on the latest and greatest technology automatically assume that it’s invulnerable to the threats that assailed its predecessors. They rest easily, knowing that there’s no way that their personal data could be filched, or their hardware could be destroyed, or a virus could start the zombie apocalypse using their tablet. Luckily, every so often, a highly publicized and devastating bit of malware like Geinimi crops up — reminding people that they still need to be smart about how they use their modern day devices.
First, this is a hefty bit of malware that works like your typical PC trojan. Only it targets your smartphone.
Second, it doesn’t like Android phones. At all.
Third, it can send all the data from your phone — including from your contacts, device data, installed apps, and, far more frighteningly, your location — to a remote computer.
Fourth, it makes it so your device can actually be remotely controlled by someone else.
And fifth, it’s not nearly so big of a threat as you may think. While the malware is brutal and sophisticated, you have to install it through an infected application. To find one of these infected apps, you would have to visit a Chinese, third-party application store. Since doing so would require both some major phone settings modifications and, more than likely, a translator, U.S. Android users should be in the clear.
That being said, Geinimi does give us an idea of how vulnerable smartphones can be to malware. Far more importantly, though, it shows just how much incredibly personal data can be transmitted to those who contract this sort of smartphone virus.