Malware? There’s A Google Play App For That
Google is once again under fire after a mobile adware firm was found to be spreading out its malware dressed as a Google Play App. 2014 is the year of innovation it seems. Malware, spyware and hackers keep getting better at keeping their tracks to themselves and finding access to a whole host of stuff with great ease and efficiency. To say that cyber threats are continuously evolving is only one part of the story. Evidently, they aren’t just evolving, they’re doing so at a faster rate than solutions.
Tricky Malware Problems
Avast recently spotted something interesting, malware that was being injected into devices through malware that was pretending to be the real deal i.e. apps from the Google Play Store. Google doesn’t have such a great reputation for keeping malware out so no one is happy about this development. Where does an Android user go to keep their device security in check? What’s worse is that the adware firms aren’t doing so bad at finding people to fall for their gimmicks with a reported 185,000 views per day. MobileCashOut.com, Playmob.es, and Espabit.com are all complicit in attacking Android users.
Stairway To Problems
A user is infected by one of these “apps” through their own phone. For starters, they are shown links and ads to different pornographic websites on their apps, and once they click on that the site that they land on ends up downloading the malware app onto their device. The page that the user lands on is so much like the actual Play Store that no one can blame them for, well, getting played (no pun indented). From the right colour scheme to buttons that look like Google itself designed them, the mimicry is uncanny. The only giveaway is that the address bar still reads a URL which is absolutely wrong.
Avoiding The Gates Of Hell
Keeping this particular strand of malware out of one’s phone isn’t that complicated. You just need to keep an eagle’s eye on your own digital habits. For instance, make sure that you double check the address bar to confirm whether it is really the Play Store that you’re downloading from – make this a habit and never install anything unless you’re sure. Apart from this, check out your settings and visit the option that gives your phone permission to install apps from “Unknown Source”. Simply turn said option off. This is your best bet if you are trying to make sure that you never install apps that are not legit. Google’s structure simply won’t let you. If you find that there is a third party app that you absolutely must install then first ensure that you have done your research and know what you’re getting into.
Like most Android malware or spyware news that breaks out, the advice that anyone can give to the users is run of the mill – start by making sure that you know what you’re doing. Keep your device updated, make sure you back up frequently, and most of all, do not blindly trust the things you are sent on your phone.