The Ultimate Android Virus Guide – How to detect, get rid and keep them away

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  • TheUltimateAndroidVirusGuideHowtodetect,getridandkeepthem

    awayEverythingyouneedtoknowaboutAndroidvirusesRememberthosedayswhengettingavirusonyourPCseemedliketheendoftheworld?Well,

    itturnedoutthatnotallofthemwerethanbadandantivirussoftwaremanagedtoremovethem

    fromyourcomputer,alongsidealltheirthreats.

    Today,wemovedtosmartphones.Sinceweusethemmostoftheday,somebadintendedguys

    thoughaboutexploitingthisanddevelopedsomeprettynastybitsofcodewhichcouldgetinto

    ourAndroidpoweredphonesanddobadthings.Justthinkabouthowmuchmuchinformationis

    storedonyoursmartphone:emails,passwords,bankaccountsandmanymore.Yes,ladiesand

    gentlemen,wevereachedthatpointinwhichwearetalkingaboutsmartphoneviruses,hunting

    downyourdata.

  • Apparently,theresaprettybigamountofAndroidmalwarerunningfreeontheInternetright

    now,butifyourewellinformed,youcankeepyourphonevirusfree,withouttheriskofexposing

    yourdataandothervaluableinformation.

    So,withoutmuchfurtherado,hereyoucanfindeverythingyouneedtoknowaboutAndroid

    viruses:whatarethey,howdangerouscananinfectionbe,howtogetridofthemand,most

    important,howtostayawayfromsuchthings.Or,simplyput,theultimateAndroidvirusguide,

    providedbyUnlockScope,theeasiest,fastestandsafestmethodtounlockyourphone,giving

    youthefreedomtouseitwiththecarrierofyourchoiceandhelpingyousavehundredsofdollars

    whenyoutravelinternationally.

    WhatsanAndroidvirus?Firstofall,letsmakeonethingclear:Androidvirusesarenottechnicallyviruses.Avirusisa

    chunkofcodehiddeninsomethingthatappearstobeuseful,likesomekindofmagicfile

    managementtool.Afteritsinstalledoraccessed,itstartsspreadinglikecrazyalloveryourhard

    disk.

    Rememberthegoodoldayswhensomeofyourfriendshadaprettyinterestingstatuson

    Yahoo!Messenger,which,rightafterbeingclicked,ledyoutoafishysiteandbam!,youwere

    infected?Thatsanexample.

    OnAndroid,thingsworkabitdifferent,usingthesandboxapproach.Inordertostartexecutinga

    process,anapprequiresapprovalfromtheuser.Still,notevenafterreceivingit,accessingdata

    fromanywherecannotbedone,sotheinfestationcannottakeplaceeither.

    Therefore,currentlywedonthaveanyAndroidviruses.Currently,yes,aswedontexcludethe

    scenarioinwhich,somewhereinthefuture,someonefiguresoutawaytotrickthissandbox

    approachandappswillstartinstallingwithouttheusersapproval.

    Thethingsyouneedtostayawayfrom,asanAndroiduser,aremalware,adware,spyware.

    Also,weregoingtofocusabitonransomwaretoo,sincethisismaybethemostdangeroustype

    ofvirusyoucanencounter.

  • MalwareThisiswhatyoushouldavoidatallcosts.AccordingtoWikipedia,itsshortformalicioussoftwareandrepresentsanysoftwareusedtodisruptcomputeroperation,gathersensitiveinformation,orgainaccesstoprivatecomputersystems.

    Whatmalwaredoesiscollectingdataandsendittoserversyoudontrecognize.Still,dont

    forgetthatitcantdothisifdontauthorizeit.Ok,sohowonEarthdoesitendupdoingsuch

    horriblethings?Afterall,youseeallthepermissionsitrequireswheninstallingit,right?Itdoesnt

    sayanywhereRequestsaccesstoyourcreditcardnumberorsomethinglikethat.

    Well,itkindadoes,butthethingisthatyoucantseewhereitsaysthis.Usually,itusestextthe

    samecolorasthebackgroundwhenitshowsyouthepermissions,whichisveryhardtodetect.

    Nottomentionthattherearebasicappsoutthere,liketheonesyouuseforwallpapers,which

    requireprettyweirdpermissions.Asyourselfsomequestionsbeforegrantingthemaccessto

    yourdata.

    Hottogetridof/avoidmalware

    ThereareacoupleofAndroidantivirusapplicationsthatcandothis.Theycomewithadatabaseofmalwareinstancesandonceyouinstallthem,theystartlookingfortheirsignaturesandtrytouninstallthem.

  • Ifyoudontwanttotrythistypeofapps,payalotofattentionbeforeinstallinganythingonyour

    phone.GoogleisknownforconstantlycheckingthePlayStoreforappswhichcouldharmyour

    phoneanddata,butonceagain,makesuretoreadthereviewsandallthepermissionsrequired

    beforeinstallingone.

    YoucanfindmoredetailsabouthowtoprotectyourAndroiddevicefrommalwareinDan

    Grazianosexcellentarticle,writtenforCNET.

    AdwareAccordingtoBillSnyder,fromInfoWorld,thisisactuallythebiggestthreatforAndroidphones!

    Youvedefinitelycameacrossit,asitcantakedifferentforms,likepopupmessagesthatlook

    likesystemnotifications,informingyouthatyourphoneisrunningslowandinvitingyoutoinstall

    anapptosolvetheproblem.Soundsfamiliar,isntit?

  • Youyouareuninspiredenoughtoactuallytaponthem,youwillberedirectedtosomesuspicious

    appstoresandendupwithanappthatwillsendpremiumSMS,behindyourback,andcollect

    tonsofdata,accordingtoAvastsmalwareanalystFilipChytry,citedbyBBC.

    Keepingitshort,stayawayfromanyadsthatpromisewaytoogoodtoseemrealsolutionsfor

    yourphonesproblems,variousprizesandgenerally,freestuff.

    Howtogetridof/avoidadware

    Eventhoughitmightseemstressful,youcanactuallygetridofthosepeskyapps.Firstofall,do

    thefirstthingthatyoucanthinkoff:uninstallit.Butdontusetheclassicway!

    GotoyourphonesSettingsmenu>Apps>Applicationmanager.Alistwithallyourapps,

    includingthemaliciousonewillshowup.Iftheresanythingyouknowyouhaventinstalled,

    that/thosearetheone/syoushoulduninstall.

    Thethingisthatallthismaliciousappsleavetraces,soyoullhavetocleanafterthem.Inorder

    todothis,youcantryafewdedicatedantivirusapps,butmakesuretheyremadebyreputed

    companies,likeAvast,forexample.TheirfreeMobileSecurityappwillscanyourphoneandget

    ridofanypotentialthreats.

    SpywareSpywareissomethingprettysimilartoadware,asinmostcases,itdoesntdoanythingelsethan

    whatsadvertised.Also,almostallsmartphoneshavespywareonit,atsomelevel.Youdidnt

    seethatcoming,webet.Theydogettoknowyourlocationandotherdetailsyouallowthemto

    wheninstallingthem,right?

    Besidesthis,theycollectdata,inordertosendyourelevantads,whichcanbeagoodthingif

    youactuallyclickoninappads.

    Anothercategoryofspywareiscarrierspyware.Carriersliketoknowhowyoureusingaphone,

    somostcarrierbrandeddevicescanseeeverythingyouresendingthroughaspecificnetwork.

    Butonceagain,dontpanic,astheyusethisdatainordertoimprovetheirservices

  • Howtogetridof/avoidspyware

    Thisiseasy.Justpayalotofattentiontothepermissionsappsrequirewheninstallingthem.Asforcarrierspyware,youcanflashacustomROM,butunlessyouknowexactlyhowtodoit,ourrecommendationistoavoidthis.

    RansomwareFinally,amalwaretypevirusthatcausedalotoftroubleisransomware.Besidespreventingor

    limitingusersfromaccessingtheirsystem,ransomwareforcesitsvictimstopaytheransom

    throughcertainonlinepaymentmethodsinordertograntaccesstotheirsystems,ortogettheir

    databack.Someransomwareevenencryptsfiles(calledCryptolocker),asstatedbyWikiPedia.

    Untilnow,ransomwarevirusesweretargetingonlycomputers,buttheyrebecomingpresenton

    Androidsmartphonestoo.AccordingtoRuchnaNigam,SecurityResearcheratFortiGuardLabs,

    madeashortlistwiththreeofthemostdangerousransomwarevirusesforAndroid:

    FakeDefendDiscoveredinJuly2013,itactslikeafakeantivirusapp,askinguserstopayfor

    alicenseafterafakescan,showingalistofvirusesapparentlypresentinthesystem.

    Effects:Iftheuserdecidestopay,creditcarddetailsarecopiedtotheserver.Inaddition,

    whetherornottheuserpays,thevirusclosescertainservicesandotherprocessesassociated

    withtheantivirus.

    Eventually,itwilldamageAndroidsystemappsinstalledontheSDcard,withtheabilitytodelete

    anyapplicationandROMbackup.

    Finally,aftersixhoursafterinstalling,thephonesscreenwilllockandthelock/unlockbutton

    wontworkanymore

    Phoneuseaftervirusinfiltration:Difficultinitially,impossibleaftersixhours

    Ransom:$99.98,payablewithcreditcard

    Uninstalling:Impossiblewithoutresettingthedevicetofactorysettings

    Damagetouserdata:Userdatawontbedamaged,butthebackupwillbelost.

  • CryptolockerDiscoveredinMay2014,itappearsasavideodownloadappcalledBaDoink.

    Evenitifthevirusdoesnotharmyourdata,itwilldisplayacustomizedlockscreen,dependingon

    yourgeographicalposition.Thelockscreenislitevery5seconds,leadingtoafaultyphoneuse.

    Phoneuseaftervirusinfiltration:Difficult

    Ransom:$300,viaMoneyPak

    Uninstalling:RebootinSafeModeandresettofactorysettings

    Damagetouserdata:Userdatawillnotbelost

    SimplockerDiscoveredinJune2014,itappearsasanappinfectedwithaTrojan,suchas

    FlashPlayer.ThisisactuallythefirstrealransomwarevirusforAndroid,asitsabletoencrypt

    yourphonesfiles.Infesteddevicesarelockedandthedisplayshowsamessageclaimingthat

    youneedtopayinordertounlockyourphone.

    Effects:Encryptsfileswithextensionslike.jpeg,.jpg,.png,.bmp,.gif,.pdf,.doc,.docx,.txt,.avi,

    .mkv,.3gpor.mp4,triggeringtheAESalgorithm.ThevirusisusingtheTORsoftwareto

    communicateregularlywithaserverthatrespondstodeactivatingcommands.

    Phoneuseaftervirusinfiltration:Difficult

    Ransom:100rubles,viaQiwiWalletVisa

    Uninstalling:RebootinSafeModeandresettofactorysettings

  • Damagetouserdata:Filesareencrypted

    Howtogetridof/avoidransomware

    Afteryourphoneisinfectedwithransomware,youmightdealwithsomeseriousissues,soour

    recommendationistomakesurethatyourphoneis100%protectedagainstthisthreat.

    Useafunctionalantivirus,preferablyonemadebyareputedcompany.Itshouldpreventorat

    leastwarnyouaboutinstallinginfectedapps.

    Finally,installappsjustfromtrustedsourcesanddevelopers.SticktotheappsfromthePlay

    Storeandifyoureindoubt,usercommentscanprovidealotofextradetails.