Tag: mobile malware

Mobile security threat takes aim at text messages

New malware is now causing problems, particularly with Android users who speak Russian.

Just as smartphone users are beginning to realize that their small screen devices could suffer just as big a malware threat as their laptops and desktop computers, a new mobile security announcement has been made which has revealed that Android users who speak Russian are being targeted by a new type of text based attack.

This specific form of mobile malware moves right in to the device contact list to spread and infect others.

According to Eset, a security vendor, the malware is a worm-like virus called “Android/Samsapo.A”. Once it has made its way into a device, it can download other malicious files into that device, as well, making it a mobile security problem that only gets worse. It can also steal an individual’s personal information from his or her smartphone or tablet, including from text messages, and it can block phone calls from being made or received.

This mobile security threat is a very new one and it is important for device users to be aware of it.

According to a malware researcher from Eset, Robert Lipovsky, this virus uploads the data that it obtains from a device into a domain that is less than a month old. The spread of the Samsapo virus occurs by automatically sending out text messages from the infected mobile device so that they will be received by other people whose contact data is saved within the address list.mobile security - texting

The virus has a rather worm-like characteristic in that has been used in other forms of malware that have been infecting smartphones and even tablets. In this specific case, the text message that spreads the virus currently says, in Russian, “Is this your photo?”. It provides a link that directs the device user to an Android app package file (.APK), which contains a copy of the virus, which will then be downloaded into the new device, starting the process over again.

Lipovsky stated that “This technique wouldn’t raise an eyebrow on Windows, but is rather novel on Android.”

The best way to avoid this type of mobile security breach is to avoid the download of third party platform apps, and to keep away from websites that provide sketchy, illegal, threatening, or dangerous content.

Android mobile security heightened with KitKat

Many are looking at the latest version of the operating system as an indicator that Google is serious about safe devices.

As the largest operating system in terms of the number of users, it means that Android mobile security can be one of the biggest challenges as it is one of the most obvious targets by cyber criminals as it provides the largest opportunity in terms of users.

The popularity of attacks and threats on this operating system has been compared to Windows for desktops.

Being the most popular means that Android mobile security needs to be exceptionally high in order to fend off threats. The latest version of the operating system, KitKat, has considerable increased its settings to keep its users safe from malware. Until now, one of the primary problems with the OS is that fragmentation in its ecosystem among the various manufacturers has complicated the standards that it is able to offer. Considering that 79 percent of threats for smartphones and tablets are aimed at Android users, this is a considerable issue.

The fragmentation means that Android mobile security could be different from one device to the next.

Mobile Security AndroidTherefore, the protection on a Samsung device may be quite different from what an LG phone user might have. Therefore, a vulnerability may be addressed on one device, but it doesn’t mean that all of the device versions will corrected. Google is not unaware of this issue and has decided that its latest release, the version 4.4 KitKat, would include a number of security features that are enterprise focused.

Although Android mobile security has been increasingly building a reputation for being less powerful than that available through the Apple iOS, Google is highly focused on changing that trend. Although the solution is far from perfect, considering the open source nature of the operating system, the additional options such as in the form of KNOX and SAFE are helping to boost the protection in the devices. At the same time that this effort has been made, Google has also been expanding the reach of the devices based on its operating system beyond traditional mobile markets and into gaming, as well.