April 1, 2021

A Malicious App was Downloaded onto my Phone Without Permission from a Dodgy Website- Very in Need of Help!!

Quick Summary: a few months ago whist on a dodgy website, my NOT jailbroken phone reset itself and an app was downloaded onto my phone without my permission. i deleted the app a moment after opening it, and (hopefully) factory reset my phone a few hours later. There were other symptoms my phone experienced, such as adware- or regular ads i’m not 100% certain but likely malicious- on youtube searches which corresponded with VPN usage. is there any possibility of a root-kit or other type of malware still being present on my phone? I’m really just looking for general advice- and I’m really scared and don’t know what to do!! (On iPhone)

In- Depth Description:
Before you assume i’ve seen one of those dodgy popups that says i have 32 viruses and my iPhone needs to be scanned, an app downloaded itself onto my phone without my permission so i am very very sure i had one. also, i made this reddit account specifically for this post and i’ve never done anything like this before, so if i’ve done this wrong please tell me- thanks for being patient. i really need help!!

This was a few months ago, but I semi sorted it out. also, I think its important to note i had not (to my knowledge) jailbroken my phone before this, i was behind on a few iPhone updates- and i use a VPN (can’t remember if it was on when i acquired the virus- it probably was though). this recently came to my attention again from panicking late at night, when i wasn’t as stressed as i was at the time anymore. so, i was browsing a dodgy website in order to watch movies i couldn’t find on Netflix online, when my iPhone suddenly restarted on its own. when i reopened my phone, i was panicking a-lot. i didn’t really know what to do at this point so i researched it on youtube and msged my friends about what was happening. when i was trying to download an antivirus from the app store, i realized that a second chrome had been downloaded onto my iPhone- i had never downloaded this. i believe it may not have been called chrome, but looked like chrome. i saw it on the app store but it was hidden away in one of my folders on the final page thing of it (like final swipe of the app folders). i opened it for a split second- it looked just like a regular google window with some weird url in it- and immediately swiped it up out of usage and deleted the app. i thought that it was over at this point, but kept panicking. its also important to note that i was getting little ad things on my youtube at the top of a search bar before i deleted the app- like if i searched bird it came up with bird ads- and this is how i deduced i had a virus (later found out this was probably a regular google ad but i thought it meant adware and it didn’t come up with any ads for the term virus.) after deleting app, ad things were gone. i was still scared though, so i factory reset my iPhone- i just like reset it but made sure not to have any backups installed back onto it (not sure if i did it 100% right).

i slowly forgot about it for a while, until i redownloaded my VPN and signed back into Netflix. then, the ads came back. i panicked and deleted the VPN and its configurations, and changed my apple id password. the ads were gone. i redownloaded my VPN and Netflix later down the line a few times, and the ads are there now, but I’ve deduced these are regular ads i just may not have been paying enough attention to to see before. i was about to write that id attached the ads and was about to take a screenshot of them, but now the ads are gone and i’m quite scared again.

this is basically all thats happened in regards to signs which I’ve noticed. i changed all my email passwords immediately after reseting my iPhone, but i didn’t tell my parents about this matter- only my sister. during the time, my parents were having very bad trouble (they are now divorced) and i didn’t want to stress out my mother or worry them- we were living in a foreign country at the time and to my knowledge the genius bar doesn’t help with viruses so we couldn’t really do anything in regards to seeking help even if i told my parents. i took the most drastic measures i could and lost many memories but i worry that might not have been enough. this is basically my way of explaining that any features of this which my parents only have access to have not been dealt with, and trying to explain why i didn’t tell them, even though it was a really shitty thing not to do. I really don’t want to make my mother’s life any harder right now, especially since i got this virus a while ago, but if there is any danger in my phone, i will definitely do so.

i am most worried about a root-kit being installed into my phone from the app, as it could have- to my knowledge- survived the reset and be undetectable. basically, i’m just asking for advice on what i’ve spoken about, and to maybe be informed about what actually happened.

Thank you so much taking the time to read this or even just the small summary and i really really appreciate it!!

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