This Android malware is so tough that it reinstalls itself even after a reset.

Malware security

Malwarebytes researchers have come across a new type of Android malware. Cleaned several times, it reinstalled itself every hour. To end the infernal loop, they had to push their manipulations beyond a complete smartphone reset.

It’s so tough, even a full smartphone reset didn’t get the job done. The xHelper Trojan for Android smartphones has resurfaced in early 2020 in a version that is almost impossible to clean. It had already claimed many victims by the summer of 2019, allowing criminals to deploy further malware.


But this improved version has been a challenge for the Malwarebytes team, led by Nathan Collier. The analyst even claims that the malware’s modus operandi marks a “new era” of smartphone malware.

A virus that keeps reinstalling itself

Malwarebytes researchers were alerted in January 2020 by a user. She had identified that her phone was infected with xHelper. After using the brand’s anti-malware, she had managed to remove two versions of xHelper, as well as a Trojan horse.

However, xHelper was back only an hour after it was removed. So the search team had to take a closer look.

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