CAN MY MOBILE PHONE GET INFECTED?
Apple and Google run admirably solid little digital ecosystems. It is still very difficult to get any type of infection on an Android or iDevice. Unlike a desk or laptop which can pick up unfriedlies simply by being online, mobile devices require more cunning infiltration.
The recent Apple hack pulled on Occupy protesters in Hong Kong was the result of clever social engineering and a good lesson in healthy app downloading practices.
An infected, brilliantly disguised as helpful app was launched, targeted at the protesters. It was downloaded via a third-party source, probably posted by the government, not from the App Store where security is guaranteed. When downloaded a trojan horse called Xsser was unleashed creating digital havoc among users.
Similarly the Android targeted and wistfully named Hummingbad was only fouling phones who had downloaded a third party app not from Google Play.
The lesson of course is to always be suspicious of third party apps. The Google and Apple security guaranteed as part of a seamless user experience is always the safest option. For now.
Singularly premiere documentation such as signatures and passwords, credit and complete bank details, even pics of your credit card. In the digital age, you name it, it has to be on your device for you to function in the world. Every single thing that identifies you is certainly a hacker's dream.
Malware can be launched on devices through USB connections to infected computers, but most often attacks come in the form of infected third party apps. The Gunpowder virus hit Android users who downloaded a nintendo gaming emulator from a source outside Google Play. The same method was used for Ghost trojan and Googlian. Mazar was a link in an email. Not global events, but worryingly effective in the countries that were hit. Devices can be rooted and revenue generating apps opened, personal information harvested and malicious processes can be carried out.
If you must download apps that are not mega-corporation protected in order to conduct your digital life then be smart and run some mobile protection software like AVAST PRO ANTIVIRUS, KASPERSKY INTERNET SECURITY or PANDA INTERNET SECURITY.
It is still difficult to infect devices that run iOS on Apple only hardware which exclusively downloads apps from the official Apple App Store. If you are suspicious that you have picked up some malware, the most effective thing to do is a complete reset.
1- Cloud all your data.
2- Purge your device back to factory settings
3- Import your data afresh.
Definitely frustrating, but unwanted credit card bills are far more so.
You can also connect your device to a Mac and use the "Reset iPad/iPhone" option in iTunes. These processes will clear your device of all programs and reload them with fresh copies, flaming any malware in the process. A quick visit to a Genius Bar where scanning software can be used will sort out any problems that persist.
If you don't want to go to the trouble of backing up, sanitizing the device then reloading all your data, this is how to remove a virus from your Android unit.
1-Put your device in Safe mode, this will stop any unwanted malware running while you are administrating.
2-Open Settings, choose Apps. Be sure you have the downloaded screen.
3-Look for anything suspicious or apps you know you haven't downloaded.
4-Tap on the App icon and Uninstall.
4-If uninstall is greyed out don't panic it is just a trickier app pretending to be an administrator.
5-Exit App menu
6-Tap Security-Device Administrators and Untick then Deactivate the culprit.
7-Restart to take it out of safe mode.
Share this with your friends and tell them not to panic when it comes to malicious infections on mobile devices.