Is a weird ‘bot’ draining your phone’s battery? Here’s how to find out

Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 @ 9:46 PM

If you’ve noticed that your smartphone’s battery seems like it’s draining faster than normal, it may not be your imagination.

A stealth program dubbed “DrainerBot” may be the culprit.

DrainerBot is a piece of software that has been embedded in hundreds of apps in the Google Play Store. The program, which downloads hidden or invisible video ads, is linked to a major fraud campaign.

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It could also be costing you big money in the form of high data overages. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about DrainerBot and outline some steps to help you remove it.

DrainerBot: 3 things you need to know about the software that could be stealing your battery life

  • It appears to have been downloaded 10 million times
  • It can consume up to 10GBs of data per month
  • It appears to have only infected Android devices

The purpose of DrainerBot appears to be to artificially (and illegally) inflate video ad view numbers. It does that by downloading gigabytes of video ads into your smartphone.

Even though you can’t see the video ads, those views are counted. The scheme is literally costing advertisers and phone users a fortune, according to Oracle, which exposed the software in a news release.

“The DrainerBot code appears to have been distributed via an infected SDK [Software Development Kit] integrated into hundreds of popular consumer Android apps and games like ‘Perfect365,’ ‘VertexClub,’ ‘Draw Clash of Clans,’ ‘Touch ‘n’ Beat – Cinema,’ and ‘Solitaire: 4 Seasons (Full),” Oracle said in a statement.

Here are some signs that your Android device may be infected with DrainerBot

According to Oracle, here are some signs that your phone may have an app infected by DrainerBot:

  • Apps crash your phone more often and programs become sluggish
  • Your phone’s battery lasts only a short time and it’s hot to the touch
  • Your phone is using dramatically more data than it did before installing a particular app

Here are the 2 ways to stop DrainerBot on your phone

You may not know where to start when it comes to finding out which particular app may be infected with DrainerBot. So here’s what you should do:

Go to Settings > Data Usage > App Data Usage and see if any apps are using an incredibly high amount of data. If so, they may be infected with DrainerBot. Once you’ve identified the data-draining app you can:

1. Delete the app in question

or

2. Open your settings and restrict the app’s permissions

A. Go to Settings, then click on Apps.

B. Scroll to the individual app you want to access.

C. Click on the app and go to App Info. You should then see Permissions.

D. From there, click on App Permissions and adjust it accordingly.

If you find that your phone is still sluggish or your battery is still draining faster than normal, locate another app that may be taking up a large amount of your phone’s bandwidth and repeat step 1 or 2.

Use this opportunity to review your phone’s privacy and security settings. Make any adjustments so that you can have the security and privacy you need when using your phone.

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