What are the most common kinds of Android malware?

Credit: Artem Medvediev | Dreamstime.com

With over 2 billion monthly active devices, Android is one of the biggest operating systems in the world. However, with such a wide audience, it’s also quickly becoming a target for cyber-criminals who have developed malware and other malicious software for the platform.

Here’s a quick introduction to some of the most common kinds of Android malware.


Hummingbad is one of the most prolific malware that affects Android users. According to According to security company Check Point, it accounts for over 72% of all mobile infections.

Discovered in 2016, Hummingbad often appears on devices via a sort-of drive-by download-based attack that tries to gain access to trick users into giving it root privileges via a fake system update notification. Once it’s done this, it tries to download as many malicious apps as possible to a user's device.

Hummingbad then feeds you fake ads which, when closed, trigger additional malicious installations. It can even imitate clicks on buy, install, and accept buttons within the Google Play store itself.


Hiddad is a trojan style piece of malware that’s proved a recurring thorn in the side of Google’s Play Store for some time now. In the past, Hiddad has been disguised as YouTube content downloader apps like tube.mate and Snaptube. It’s also masqueraded as innocuous things like a photo editor and even an internet speed-test app.

However, once installed, it continually floods users with malicious ads while also doing everything it can to make getting rid of it a pain, even renaming its installation to ‘Download Manager’.  

Google has repeatedly removed instances of the malware making its way onto the store but it continues to return in various forms.


Like the name might suggest, SpyDealer is the kind of surveillance-malware that you’d expect to see in some kind of espionage thriller starring Matt Damon. This piece of Android malware steals data from more than 40 popular communications and social media apps including including Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and even some versions of Firefox.

According to Palo Alto Networks, the malicious software can spy on victims' call histories, contacts, Wi-Fi information and even location, all by exploiting the Android’s native accessibility feature.

Discovered in 2017, SpyDealer can answer and record phone calls, audio clips and video footage. It can also take screenshots or photos using the device's front and rear camera.

Though SpyDealer predominantly affects older versions of Android, Google has quickly acted to implement protections in more recent versions of the OS.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Androidandroid malware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Fergus Halliday
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?