Malware for Android on the increase.

Is it really? Who knows? Over the last few weeks I keep hearing more and more about how Android is getting more and more malware apps in the market. Various reports keep appearing with claims like this “Sightings of Android malware have surged 475 percent since July this year, according to Juniper Networks” and various anti-virus companies (vested interest) keep saying “it’s getting worse” “buy our product”. But how are we to know?

The Android Market is very open. To publish an app the developer pays a small fee of about $25 and that is it. They can then publish anything they want. The app can access various parts of your phone, copy your address book, monitor your web browsing, eat your children or many other unpleasant activities. Who here checks what permissions an app requires when they install it? The other problem is there are a lot of websites offering cracked .apk’s for popular games and apps for free. Take Photoshop touch, on the morning it was announced I spotted a cracked version available for download. This would seem attractive to certain people, but lets think about it. You save a few quid and the person who cracked it; decompiled the app, removed the copyright protection, inserted a load of malicious code, rebuilt the app and uploaded it; gets all of your contact details, all of your web history, log in details and passwords plus some other stuff. It doesn’t seem to appealing now.


So what do we do,

Get an expensive anti-virus app? I don’t know.

Get a free anti-virus app? Maybe

Don’t download dodgy cracked apps? Up to you.

Only download apps from Android Market? Some of them are just as bad.

Don’t buy an Android phone. Again, up to you?

The situation is definitely getting worse and I feel Google need to intervene. They need to come up with a method to somehow check apps before they are published before it gets too bad. If you are interested we will be covering a few anti-virus app over the next few weeks. So we may have the answer for you.

Sources – PC Mag – AndroidPIT

 

Orange Xperia neo owners getting Android 2.3.4
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  • Anonymous

    Get an iPhone, then you can just read about what android users have to worry about ;)

    • joe

      no!….thats alright. i have had an android device for 2 years now, after switching from the iphone. i have had no malware problems. iphone is so locked down and boring….and please dont tell me about jailbreaking. its like anything in life. to gain something, you have to risk something sometimes.

      • Johngreen

        joe how is the iphone locked down what can you do on a android device as you carnt on a iphone ?

      • Johngreen

        joe how is the iphone locked down what can you do on a android device as you carnt on a iphone ?

        • joe

          You can root, run rom’s, change the look of your phone to look like any phone you want. without compromising your phones warranty! try jailbreaking your iphone and taking it in for service of some sort. plus, jailbreaking still doesnt do much for the phone. If you have any tech knowledge, the sky is the limit with Android. 

          • joe

            plus….you cant get an iphone with a 1.4 ghz dual core and a 4.65 inch super amoled plus screen!…lol

          • joe

            plus….you cant get an iphone with a 1.4 ghz dual core and a 4.65 inch super amoled plus screen!…lol

          • Johngreen

            Lol joe those days are gone when you root/played roms Christ I did that years ago there is no need to now …why do you change your phone to look like a iPhone or another phone ??

            You stick with android and keep messing about trying to play roms on it while I play call of duty on my iPhone…

            Called apps …boooooooooommmmmmmm

          • Johngreen

            Lol joe those days are gone when you root/played roms Christ I did that years ago there is no need to now …why do you change your phone to look like a iPhone or another phone ??

            You stick with android and keep messing about trying to play roms on it while I play call of duty on my iPhone…

            Called apps …boooooooooommmmmmmm

          • joe

            You asked me what i could do on my Android that i couldnt do on my iphone. just because my answer doesnt make you all warm and fuzzy doesnt mean its not true. Try true multitasking, running flash, live wallpapers, widgets, pull down notifications(oops)…apple just stole that one!….etc…i have an xbox and a playstation to play games on…boooom!! even if i did, im sure its on the market. i change my phone because i getted bored with the same look. f.y.i…i dont make my phone look like an iphone…i make it look like a phone running an Android skin. like Htc sense, Samsung touchwiz…….so, if you were rooting a long time ago, which phone did you do it on?

          • joe

            You asked me what i could do on my Android that i couldnt do on my iphone. just because my answer doesnt make you all warm and fuzzy doesnt mean its not true. Try true multitasking, running flash, live wallpapers, widgets, pull down notifications(oops)…apple just stole that one!….etc…i have an xbox and a playstation to play games on…boooom!! even if i did, im sure its on the market. i change my phone because i getted bored with the same look. f.y.i…i dont make my phone look like an iphone…i make it look like a phone running an Android skin. like Htc sense, Samsung touchwiz…….so, if you were rooting a long time ago, which phone did you do it on?

          • Johngreen

            joe joe joe i was rooting on my m600 i was even using this to config my router up with by cmd prompt….
            it was you who said you carnt do things on a iphone then you can on android im stating that’s not true i can change alot of things same as you .You all say its locked down but what really are you doing that is locked down on a apple iphone. If I wanted to mess around with my phone I would get a android but there is no need to these days times have moved on …
             did you mention flash !!! ha its seems apple won on that …
             i can multitask on my phone and have pull down notification but dont need to use it .Apple didn’t steal this from android otherwise why would android let them do it ????
             
            booooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmm

          • Johngreen

            joe joe joe i was rooting on my m600 i was even using this to config my router up with by cmd prompt….
            it was you who said you carnt do things on a iphone then you can on android im stating that’s not true i can change alot of things same as you .You all say its locked down but what really are you doing that is locked down on a apple iphone. If I wanted to mess around with my phone I would get a android but there is no need to these days times have moved on …
             did you mention flash !!! ha its seems apple won on that …
             i can multitask on my phone and have pull down notification but dont need to use it .Apple didn’t steal this from android otherwise why would android let them do it ????
             
            booooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmm

          • joe

            jJust because you say that you have moved on, doesnt mean other people have. I used to bang asian hookers, so that means no one does it anymore right?…m600 doesnt sound like an iphone to me. You sound very troll’ish. Im sure next you’ll say that your old m600 had a quad core back in the day. People that finish a sentence with boom usually have a lot of hair on their palms.

          • joe

            jJust because you say that you have moved on, doesnt mean other people have. I used to bang asian hookers, so that means no one does it anymore right?…m600 doesnt sound like an iphone to me. You sound very troll’ish. Im sure next you’ll say that your old m600 had a quad core back in the day. People that finish a sentence with boom usually have a lot of hair on their palms.

        • joe

          You can root, run rom’s, change the look of your phone to look like any phone you want. without compromising your phones warranty! try jailbreaking your iphone and taking it in for service of some sort. plus, jailbreaking still doesnt do much for the phone. If you have any tech knowledge, the sky is the limit with Android. 

    • joe

      no!….thats alright. i have had an android device for 2 years now, after switching from the iphone. i have had no malware problems. iphone is so locked down and boring….and please dont tell me about jailbreaking. its like anything in life. to gain something, you have to risk something sometimes.

    • The_Prof

      You know, there’s actually something to be said for this.  When I decided to go for an iPhone (I have a couple of Android handsets too), I kind-of just wanted it because I knew it’d just work.  I haven’t jailbroken it, nor do I intend to.  It does what I wanted it for, and it does it very well. 

      However, for the things it doesn’t do, I wouldn’t be without an Android phone.  I love being able to mess about with stuff that you couldn’t do on an iPhone because of the anal way Apple control it.  I love being able to remotely control the camera, get it to send text messages automatically, give me location data over the interweb… All the nerdy stuff I miss out on by having an iPhone. 

      As joe said – often, to gain something, you have to risk something.  I personally detest anti-virus software.  I hate the way it works, and the reasons behind having it in the first place.  You’re dedication a portion of the power of your phone (or PC, tablet, etc) to something you really shouldn’t need. 

      I actually don’t think getting Google to verify apps for malware is the answer.  I think Google should open up the Marketplace for these anti-virus companies to ‘certify’ each app as clean, for every release.  When they put their logos next to each of them, it means that you can download with some confidence, if you choose to trust that particular AV vendor.  Folks that don’t care about these certifications run the risk of infection…

      The AV companies will then be able to bolster their reputation within the mobile market, and make themselves a better name in the consumer and corporate PC markets where AV is, unfortunately, needed.  Lets not make another market like Windows has for these Godforsaken security products. 

    • The_Prof

      You know, there’s actually something to be said for this.  When I decided to go for an iPhone (I have a couple of Android handsets too), I kind-of just wanted it because I knew it’d just work.  I haven’t jailbroken it, nor do I intend to.  It does what I wanted it for, and it does it very well. 

      However, for the things it doesn’t do, I wouldn’t be without an Android phone.  I love being able to mess about with stuff that you couldn’t do on an iPhone because of the anal way Apple control it.  I love being able to remotely control the camera, get it to send text messages automatically, give me location data over the interweb… All the nerdy stuff I miss out on by having an iPhone. 

      As joe said – often, to gain something, you have to risk something.  I personally detest anti-virus software.  I hate the way it works, and the reasons behind having it in the first place.  You’re dedication a portion of the power of your phone (or PC, tablet, etc) to something you really shouldn’t need. 

      I actually don’t think getting Google to verify apps for malware is the answer.  I think Google should open up the Marketplace for these anti-virus companies to ‘certify’ each app as clean, for every release.  When they put their logos next to each of them, it means that you can download with some confidence, if you choose to trust that particular AV vendor.  Folks that don’t care about these certifications run the risk of infection…

      The AV companies will then be able to bolster their reputation within the mobile market, and make themselves a better name in the consumer and corporate PC markets where AV is, unfortunately, needed.  Lets not make another market like Windows has for these Godforsaken security products. 

  • Anonymous

    Get an iPhone, then you can just read about what android users have to worry about ;)

  • I’ve just installed AVG Mobilation free antivirus, scans my Market downloads for me and updates once a week, fingers crossed it’ll be as good the pc version!

  • I’ve just installed AVG Mobilation free antivirus, scans my Market downloads for me and updates once a week, fingers crossed it’ll be as good the pc version!

  • Anonymous

    “Who here checks what permissions an app requires when they install it?”

    I do but they’re far to generally written to affect me installing an app. Android doesn’t (by default) allow Root access but plenty can be done without it.

    This is worth reading regarding many of the free Android Anti-Malware software (Lookout is missing):

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/most-free-android-anti-malware-scanners-near-to-useless/16224

  • Anonymous

    “Who here checks what permissions an app requires when they install it?”

    I do but they’re far to generally written to affect me installing an app. Android doesn’t (by default) allow Root access but plenty can be done without it.

    This is worth reading regarding many of the free Android Anti-Malware software (Lookout is missing):

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/most-free-android-anti-malware-scanners-near-to-useless/16224