1. lulu2333's Avatar
    hi everyone I'm hoping that someone will be able to guide me in the right direction. right now my Android Samsung Grand Prime feels like it has been taken hostage buy something that is denying me privacy and the comfort of using technology without feeling like my apps and internet searches are uncensored. I know I'm making it sound dramatic butt laptops and smartphones have replaced the nostalgic leather bound encyclopedia britannica's of my youth which allowed me to gain knowledge and find out the "why" of how the world worked.
    my phone started acting strange when I updated Google services and the app then downloaded a new version to my sim card, installed and downloaded updates to a new Google play store, also. the next thing that happened what's that my Gmail account kept asking me to sign in and saying my password was incorrect and to reset it. I was sent in one day 5 different text messages with a new verification code to log into my account.
    after that at least 8 to 10 of my factory-installed applications started running numerous versions of themselves with outlandish permissions being granted control over all system apps and files and even my use of the app.
    I next went on to Google Chrome to find out if this was happening to anyone else's smartphone. when I tried to look up malware on Android device in the search engine I was denied full access to the results that were being presented. If a result even remotely mirrored my problem then when I clicked on the web address Google would not connect to it or kept saying "this page cannot be found." I even tried looking for similiar results under images, videos, news and even shopping but Google just kept spitting out the same response of "no related results." So, I tried every possible re-phrasing I could come up with: how to remove a virus from system data on Android, maleware removal on Samsung, hidden processes in factory installed apps and after almost two hours of being denied or redirected to results that didn't remotely resemble my questions, I finally shut it off and felt frustrated as Hell.
    the next day I thought I'd try a different approach and go to Google Play Store and download an anti-virus or anti-malware application but this same things started happening when I would type in anything resembling antivirus, anti-bugging or malware removal from an Android. Google Play wouldn't even allow me to type in the first three letters anti without crashing or showing me apps that were not in the same league as Avast, Norton or Kapersky. These options that the play store was showing had maybe 500-1,000 downloads and when trying to visit their websites to see if they were legit, almost 100% of the time I was greeted by the shadiest looking sites I'd ever seen.
    So, my last resort was to look on data usage and app activity to try to stumble upon apps that looked out of place but I was met with at least ten factory installed apps that now had 4 to 7 different versions running at once. Each version had diff Version numbers and their permissions with my app were all-consuming and granted themselves the keys to my phones kingdom. These new versions had complete control over my device and information. I know, it sounds like the scene in Gremlins when the mutated mogwais' take over the whole town!
    So, today I woke up and tried to sneak around the settings and running processes of my own phone. I used my friend's phone to find out how to put it in safe mode but that is about as far as I got. I'm no tech wiz eventhough I feel like one everytime I bail my mother out of one of her texting crisis. But I just dont know what I'm supposed to be looking for. I was able to write down some of the apps that were listed in the application manager under All; and I had to write bc when I tried to copy the text to my clip tray it denied me even that simple pleasure. And when I typed in some of the version numbers most came back claiming, "false app", "mirror or shell" or the familiar "no search results".
    So, now I'm hoping someone out here in the big, scary matrix will have some nuggets of knowledge to chuck my way. I feel like Princess Leia, "Help me Obe One Kinobi....you're my only hope." Thanks for sticking it out and reading what I can only describe as an experience that has made me question if I'm just having paronoid delusions that will land me straight into a white, cushioned room of solitary confinement!
    05-05-2016 03:18 PM
  2. the tall guy's Avatar
    Hi, at this stage the only thing I would suggest is a factory reset on the device. By the sounds of it you have countless issues with the handset.

    Head into the phones settings, then backup & reset - then factory reset data. These instructions might vary slightly depending on your phone model. The factory reset will wipe absolutely everything off the phone, starting it from fresh. Bare in mind you will loose any data you have on the phone, like text messages, pictures, videos etc - unless you back them up prior to the reset.
    05-12-2016 03:26 AM
  3. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! It's not clear to me--were you able to boot the phone into Safe Mode? If so, were you able to browse the web without difficulty?
    05-12-2016 07:07 PM

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