Cybersecurity experts are warning that a new type of malicious software known as Gooligan has infected more than 1 million Android devices worldwide and is spreading at a rate of 13,000 devices a day. The malware has the ability to affect everything from Gmail and Google Photos to Google Drive and related services.
The San Diego Union-Tribune discussed the emerging problem with Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist for the Santa Clara-based company Intel Security.
Q: How does the Gooligan software get into Android phones, and what does it do once it’s inside?
A: We have seen Gooligan being distributed in a couple of ways. First, by people visiting an infected website. We are using our smartphones increasingly to surf the Web. The bad guys know this and are using your browsing behavior to infect your device. We have also seen it being distributed in third-party app stores. Once your phone is infected, Gooligan basically (gains root access to) your device — after which it can take total control and access anything on your device.