|Android malware appears every 12 seconds|
Every 12 seconds, Android spyware pops up
In 2021, more than 2.5 million malicious Android apps appeared. The apps do not only get onto the devices of their victims via app stores. If you want to protect yourself, you should keep your smartphone up to date – this also applies to Apple cell phones.
Attacks on Android smartphones have increased over the past year. According to the Mobile Security Report by G Data, the number of attack attempts that were repelled has risen by 21 percent. The company calculates that a malicious Android app appears every 12 seconds. In total, G Date counted more than 2.5 million malicious apps.
Via App Store, SMS or Repair Service
According to G Data, cybercriminals use various methods to get their malware onto smartphones. One of them is to offer the programs in app stores. Google has invested a lot in the security of its app store and is removing malicious apps immediately. However, anyone who installs applications from a third party should take a closer look when in doubt, because other app stores carry out far less strict controls. At first glance, the apps there look harmless, but contrary to the official description, they contain malicious code, explains G Data. If the users then grant extensive authorizations during the installation process, the attackers read out personal data or access the operating system remotely.
Another gateway for malware is phishing SMS messages. According to G Data, criminals are taking advantage of the fact that many people work from home and the trend towards online orders. They sent masses of SMS with delivery instructions for parcels. G Data also mentions supposed update notifications. And Swiss authorities also warned of fake voicemail notifications.
In all cases, the link in the short messages led to a fake website from which visitors downloaded and installed malware onto their devices.
Another possibility for attack is when smartphone owners give their unlocked cell phone out of their hands. Criminals need a fraction of a second to manipulate mobile devices, warns G Data. This can also happen when the Corona-Warn-App is checked or when your own device is repaired by a service provider.
Android or Cyber Protection: Install updates immediately
“We are storing more and more personal data on smartphones, such as access information for our social media channels or online banking through to the payment app for contactless payments,” says Stefan Decker, security researcher in the mobile team at G DATA CyberDefense. “It is precisely such information that is attractive to cybercriminals and can be monetized in underground forums.”
G Data advises mobile phone users to be vigilant. Especially with Android devices, cybercriminals benefit from the large number of operating versions that are still active. However, some of them do not have the latest security updates, which makes access easier. Anyone who uses a smartphone without a current security update should be aware of the danger and take precautions to protect their personal data.
G Data also has words of warning for owners of Apple smartphones: the iPhone operating system iOS is considered by many users to be a safer alternative to Android. But it also revealed numerous vulnerabilities in the past year that were only fixed by updates. Therefore, users must remain vigilant and install security updates as quickly as possible. Apple recently fixed a bug in the Homekit smart home interface. It allowed attackers to crash iPhones, requiring the devices to be reset afterwards.
Another iOS vulnerability allowed operators of malicious websites to read the browsing history of their visitors. Here you can read more about it.
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Source: Rene Juan, IT-MARKT, Direct News 99