Friday, October 19, 2012

Android Security

For those of you not aware, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has just issued a warning about increasing levels of malware targeting Android phones. This announcement comes at the same time Google has announced a new version of Google Play which will contain malware scanning capability. Google has been fighting security issues with its Android operating system for almost two years now. It claims that it has seen a significant drop in the number of potentially malicious apps in its Google Play Store, 40% since the fourth quarter of 2011. However, according to McAfee the opposite is true, they report a 76% jump since the second quarter of this year.

The IC3 sites two examples in particular, Loozfon and FinFisher. Loozfon is an information-stealing app that offers either porn or work opportunities to lure users in. FinFisher on the other hand is a spyware capable taking over the components of a mobile device. When installed the device can be remotely controlled and monitored no mater where the device is located.

The IC3 announcement and a list of safety tips to help secure your mobile device can be found here.

Whether you believe Google or McAfee my advice would be to resist using applications which could compromise the security of your personal information. Refrain from using banking applications or visiting banking websites. Avoid using your credit cards to make purchases over apps or the web. The best way to keep that information safe is just not to do it on your phone.

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