Mobile Malware and the Targeting of Specific Apps
Written by Shin Park
The city of Troy fell when they introduced a seemingly benign wooden horse into their home- the one place they thought was the most secure. The horse might’ve been just a myth but the moral of the story resonates with everyone. And if it doesn’t, it should. Why? Because your phone is just like the city of Troy. It’s strong and secure and nothing could take your privacy or sensitive information away from you. Except the Trojans.
Mobile malware has been running a muck since the boom of mobile device use has signaled to cyber hackers that apps are the path to stealing personal information. The most affected devices are androids but due to the open visibility of Apple, iPhones are under attack as well. Most commonly, people download apps from third-party sites that claim to be something they’re not. The malware infects the user’s phone and gains personal information to either use for their own benefit or sell to other parties.
The Trojans are constantly trying to get you! No, not the Greeks. Android Banking Trojan horses. They disguise themselves as a fake Flash Player app on third-party stores so that they can steal login information, bank information, contact lists, as well as much more. Once you download the app, they pester you over and over again for admin privileges and once they get it, they have full access to your phone. They can do everything and anything from intercepting your messages to changing phone volume.
Protect Your Phone
So how can you protect yourself? Well, you can’t protect yourself 100% all the time. Hackers are constantly coming up with more intricate and malicious code that go for every single vulnerability. But, you can always improve your chances.
- Update your phone. Yeah, Apple slows down your phone with every update to encourage you to buy a new one, yadda yadda. Better than losing your phone and information to hackers. Most importantly, updates come with patches that protect vulnerabilities.
- Don’t download apps from third-party stores or sites. There’s the App Store and the Google Play Store. If an app isn’t in one of those stores- don’t trust it.
- Don’t give apps admin rights. Unless you absolutely have to and it’s from a trusted site, there’s no reason any app should have that kind of power.
- Be smart. Look at the reviews, online and on the app store. If it looks sketchy, well, it probably is.
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