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Malware on Android Phones

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How the scam works:

The FBI recently issued an alert regarding malware attacks on the Android operating system. Users are receiving emails about a “work-at-home opportunity that promises a profitable payday just for sending out email.”

When the user clicks on the link for more information they inadvertently download Loozfon onto their device. Loozfon is a malicious application that steals contact information from the user’s address book and also steals the infected device’s phone number.

Another scam affecting Android users is an application called Finfisher. Finfisher is a type of spyware which allows the device to be operated remotely. The installation of this malicious software is disguised as a system update.These threats to Android users’ devices are being sent via fake premium SMS messages.

Scammers are becoming more sophisticated and their infrastructure, code and techniques at avoiding antivirus software are successful more now than ever before.

How to avoid:

As with avoiding any malware, Android users need to be cautious about opening emails or clicking links in communications that come from unknown senders. Teenage users are especially susceptible because they believe their phone is safe and that any messages they receive on the device is legitimate. Parents need to talk with their kids about the importance of confirming sources of communications before it is too late. If you are concerned about an email or a system update message you receive, do an online search; check reviews about these threats and you may well find that the “system update” you were told to install is a malware scheme. Also, never connect to unknown wireless networks as these can be used to capture your device’s information before routing you to a legitimate server.

You can also have a security program installed on your phone, such as the one offered by Trend Micro.

Having a mobile security program installed makes it much easier for users to keep their phones safe from the outside threats and can keep their data safe. These programs will monitor the phone throughout the day and create an alert if anything suspicious is noticed. Whenever a new app is downloaded, the program will scan it for viruses and malware, which can help prevent malicious software from making it onto the phone in the first place. Since so many users keep personal and financial information on their phone, having this added security makes a great deal of sense.

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