Your Smart Phone Can Spy on You and Take Pics Even When Turned Off

You are not as safe as you thought you were.

AVG has discovered a new Android malware threat, dubbed PowerOffHijack, that has a very unique feature: it hijacks the shutdown process.

After PowerOffHijack makes it looks like your phone is off, it then proceeds to spy on you.

In other words, when you hit the power off button, your mobile device doesn’t really turn off.

You still see the real shutdown animation, and it appears to power down, but while the screen is black, your smartphone or tablet is still on.

In this state, the malware can use the phone to send your messages to a third party, record a call or take a photo, essentially turning your phone into a device that spies on you.

AVG, which posted code excerpts showing some of the malware’s functionality, names this threat Android/PowerOffHijack

According to the company, it infects devices running Android versions below 5.0 and requires root permissions in order to act.

The company spokesperson told  Mashable some 10,000 devices were infected so far, mostly in China where the malware was first introduced and offered through the local, official app stores.