Malware on Android phones can spy on you when your phone is ‘off’

Posted at 3:11 PM, Feb 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-19 15:42:15-05

A new piece of malware on Android devices can spy on mobile devices even when they are "turned off," according to security firm AVG.

The malware hijacks the shutting down process of your phone. After pressing the power button, you will see the shutdown animation. However, the screen goes black and the device remains on.

The malware can make outgoing calls, take photos and perform other tasks while in this state. The "Android/PowerOffHijack.A" threat infects devices running Android 5.0 or older.

An AVG spokesperson told Mashable at least 10,000 devices have been infected so far, with most of the cases in China where the malware was first introduced. AVG did not provide any other information about how users downloaded the malware.

French telecommunications equipment company Alcatel-Lucent published a report last week that found malware infections on mobile devices increased by 25 percent in 2014. The research also suggested less than 1 percent of infections affected iPhones or Blackberry phones.