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Thursday, 03 March 2016 21:20

Android Malware more than doubled in 2015

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Android malware more than doubled in the last half of 2015 and is becoming an increasingly complex and persistent threat.

a digital protection company, has tracked this significant increase malware increase in Australia and New Zealand and has some advice for consumers and businesses on how to prevent and protect themselves from mobile malware infections.

ESET, Nick FitzGerald, Senior Research Fellow at ESET, said,” The information being stored on smartphones is becoming increasingly sensitive, making it more valuable to e-criminals. Android malware has evolved significantly, becoming more frequent and complex, with malware writers having adopted aggressive techniques which are now just as effective on desktops as on mobiles.”

Read on for ESET’S take on how to spot malware and then how to prevent it.

How to spot malware

There are some significant signs that show whether a user’s smartphone has been compromised.

  • The device is suddenly not working as usual: If an app suddenly closes or displays several error messages, there might be a malicious code on the device. Additionally, if calls or messages are not reaching their destination as per usual, or if the battery has run out significantly faster than usual, these are signs that malware could be on your phone.
  • There are calls made to unknown numbers: These are often to premium international numbers. This will result in the user having to unfairly pay the costs.
  • The data usage has skyrocketed: Any changes to normal data usage patterns are signs of a potentially malicious app, which is exchanging excessive amounts of data exchange with cyber criminals.
  • Unusual text messages: The user receives and sends odd text messages from unknown numbers, containing commands which get interpreted by the malware to trigger certain actions.

How to prevent attacks

There are few simple things to prevent malware on your smartphone.

  • Always update your smartphone with the latest operating systems, and update apps to the latest available version
  • Save your data regularly with a backup copy stored on an external device
  • Be sure only to use official sources to download apps, where malware should not be present
  • Take a look at the permissions you grant to apps when installing or running them
  • Use a highly reputable security solution and keep it up to date
  • Use a screen lock and remember that a pin or password is a more secure option than a pattern on smartphones
  • Encrypt the content of your device
  • Try to avoid jailbreaking your device.
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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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