I have a computer that used to have malware. During the time it had malware, I connected my phone to it with usb debugging (was unaware of the malware). I have no signs of malware but I'm still worried about the virus being able to propogate to my phone and stay hidden. Do I

  1. Leave it
  2. Factory reset my phone
  3. Reflash the phone

Threat model is a regular computer user. I also probably enabled usb tethering or other stuff that could have helped the malware propagate.

  • even if adb was authorized it is very unlikely something installed without notice
    – alecxs
    Nov 11, 2021 at 16:47
  • 1
    @alecxs Some years ago I read about a Windows banking trojan which also had an Android component (AFAIR for forwarding TAN SMS). But nowadays windows malware concentrates more ransome ware and Android devices aren't that useful for this use case...
    – Robert
    Nov 11, 2021 at 17:01
  • 1
    Use a third-party app and list those installed apps which were recently installed or updated since the moment you plugged your device in the infected PC. A malware needs a way to carry itself, and another way to execute its payload. In your case, the infected machine could have modified system partition, or boot partition, or installed a rogue app. These are the preferred destinations. By running safetynet tests (use third-party apps) you can rule out tampering with privileged files (system, boot, etc.) in the device. So listing recently installed or updated apps ought to be prioritized than.
    – Firelord
    Nov 11, 2021 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


What would I do in this situation? First, I would use Avast or AVG(even though they are the same things) or Malwarebytes to remove malware from my PC. Then, fully format(wipe data, dalvik cache and etc) my phone and then re flash stock ROM and then re flash custom ROM. And for being completely relaxed, I would install Avast's free version to my phone. I don't think any virus can survive after this.

Excuses for auto correct. It has some lil problems

  • If you already intend to reflash ROM, then doing a factory reset beforehand is redundant and therefore, skippable. (The term formatting is not used in Android ecosystem BTW.) Equally redundant is using an antimalware app if reflashing is going to be done anyway. Antimalware apps are useless anyway on Android.
    – Firelord
    Nov 11, 2021 at 17:24
  • @Firelord Ofc format is not in Android ecosystem. I meant wiping all data, dalvik cache and etc. And I wrote world-end scenario for making him sure that there will not be a single virus after that. Nov 11, 2021 at 17:29
  • to be nitpicky factory reset actually format userdata partition
    – alecxs
    Nov 11, 2021 at 21:44

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