Home » Alerts » 3 Biggest Security Threats Android users are Falling Victim of

2016 has been a fantastic year for cyber criminals and hackers as they were able of executing data breaches, ransomware, malware and phishing attacks at a large scale. It is not new to hear about the cyber scams on regular basis and now they are so rampant that most of the people who are using computers and smartphones especially are on its radar. According to the reports of security agencies, it is expected that by the year 2019, data breaches may grow over $2 trillion globally. As there are so many scams and threats there, it is better that Android users stay aware and protected as much as possible. So here are the three biggest security threats that you need to aware of:

Googlian Malware

It has been discovered that there is much malicious software that is masked as authentic apps for Android gadgets. It has been observed since August that nearly 13,000 Android gadgets are being infected by the malware known as Gooligan every single day. Since August, it has acquired control of over million of Google accounts.

So far, cyber security analysts have found 86 malicious apps in third-party marketplaces. If any of these malicious apps gets installed on your device, it starts the rooting process. Once scammers and hackers have the root access of your gadget, they can do whatever they want on your device. They can you’re your Smartphone’s camera and microphone to spy on you, may read your personal and confidential emails and texts, install any other malware, and do anything unethical.

The presence of Gooligan malware infects the Android device and gives root access to hackers of your infected gadget. Once hackers get control on your device, it may install a malicious module from the Command and Control (C&C) server then they inject this code into running Google Mobile Services or Google Play to copy user behavior so that their presence can’t be detected. The installed module allows Gooligan to steal a user’s Gmail account and other confidential information.

android-threats

The presence of these malicious codes may also install apps from Google Play and rate them high to boost their reputation and also generate revenue. If you also own an android device that is running on older version of Android OS is open to risk.  Nearly 75 percent of smartphones are running on Android 4 and 5 known as Android Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop operating systems and all of them are at risk. These older OS are at risk as users have not installed the security patches that are released to fix the flaws of the existing version of operating system.

It is always risky to download apps from third-party marketplaces so it is better to stay away from these apps and never download anything off from third-party sites. Always gets apps from trusted sources like the Google Play store but with caution. Be especially careful while clicking on any link that you haven’t received from known source as the Gooligan malware may also be responsible for displaying malicious links that may lead another phishing attack.

Gooligan infections infect your device and download and install software that heists tokens that are used to authenticate the owner’s phone. Using that token, hackers get access to Google related accounts including Gmail, Google Play, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Photos and G Suite without entering a password. So be watchful while installing anything online and if you have got an infection, remove it from your device using Gooligan malware removal tool as quick as possible.

Malicious Apps

To trick you into giving your confidential banking information, scammers are developing fake apps and luring a user to install them. But users don’t know that these malicious apps are very scary and may cause to lock up your Android device altogether with ransomware or to perform erratically. If they cause to lock your device, they ask you to pay ransom in order to get back the control of your useful files stored on your Android device.

Hackers cybercriminals willing develop counterfeit apps similar to the most popular ones out there. They try and trick users by making fake apps with almost identical titles like the authentic ones. So it is advised to you that verify the app on the developer’s website and if it’s direct you to some other website, don’t download it as there is a strong probability that it is a fake app.

Some suggestions how you can avoid fake apps:

  • Google Play Store – If you want to stay away from malicious apps, the best way doesn’t download anything from third-party app stores. Although, hackers have managed to list their apps in the Google Play Store, but third-party stores are a place where they are most likely to get. It is easy for the malicious apps to list themselves there as third-party stores do little to no vetting of the apps. If this is a fake app, it developer will be different. To verify the authenticity of the developers, make a Google search.
  • Check spelling – Check misspelled words or unprofessional grammar of the app before downloading it as if it has misspelled words or poor grammar, it seems to be suspicious and in such case don’t download it.
  • Update your Android device – Make sure that you install the operating system updates and the latest security as these updates usually include patches that help you in protecting your gadget from the viral threats.
  • Look for links to the app – Some counterfeit apps are making fool to the user on the name of being the authorized partner of the famous retail stores. It better to check the official website of the retailer and try to find the link on that page that direct you to its app. It will ensure that you are shopping a legitimate article from the legitimate place.

RANSOMWARE

Ransomware attacks may give you a nightmare to deal with. Once your Android device is infected, you may lose your best memories or the documents stored on it. Global ransomware attacks are at their high point and today, neither businesses, as well as individuals, are not far from the reach of cybercriminals. The number of threats is increasing day by day. So cyber security agencies are urging victims of ransomware to notify them about all the hacking incidents so that they get a better understanding of how current threats impacting digital environments.

Although it is tough to know the actual number of ransomware victims if target users don’t report about it, but if users report about the attacks, it will easy for security analysts and developers to get a greater understanding of the threat and they will be able to justify ransomware investigations. Knowing the victims’ details will make it easier for cyber security analysts to determine how victims are targeted and who is behind the attacks.

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