AppleInsider reported on three new malware strains infecting 20,000 apps, impossible to wipe, only affect Android.

“For individuals, getting infected with Shedun, Shuanet and ShiftyBug might mean a trip to the store to buy a new phone. Because these pieces of adware root the device and install themselves as system applications, they become nearly impossible to remove, usually forcing victims to replace their device in order to regain normalcy,” noted researcher Michael Bentley.

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The contaminated apps Lookout found were harvested from Google Play, infected with a payload and then republished on third party app sites enabled by Google’s open app model allowing Android users to find and download apps from multiple stores.

Apple has repeatedly maintained that Android’s permissive software installation “features” were a security risk, but Android’s architects, partners and enthusiast users denied this while portraying Apple’s App Store model—providing a single, vetted source for iOS apps—as being an unnecessarily restrictive “Walled Garden.”

It is quite serious when the infection survives even a factory data wipe.