A cybersecurity threat refers to any malicious attack by an organization or individual with the intent of gaining access to another organization’s or individual’s network and corrupt or steal data. In some cases, these attacks destroy the computer systems. Nowadays, mobile devices are now potential targets of cybercriminals. Smartphone users are struggling with device theft and data leakage. Here are some of the top android malware threats to watch out for.
e-ATM is an application that withdraws money for users who enter their ATM number and secret credentials into a genuine-looking interface. India has reported a high number of e-ATM attacks owing to its premature mobile banking industry.
Additionally, many android phones used in the Indian market are cheap and don't have advanced security patches that are used by Western countries. According to a recent survey, there are twice as many e-ATM attacks in India as in other parts of the world. Therefore, the best way to prepare for these threats is to use smartphones that feature the latest security patches.
2. Fake Subscription Services
Many applications in Google Play and iOS App store are luring people to subscribe for unnecessary services. For example, an application may ask for a subscription fee of $50 per month to enable users to identify the persons behind strange phone numbers but may not be able to achieve that functionality. Many people willingly subscribe to products that have a small monthly charge.
When users find out that the services don't work, they post negative comments on Google store and try to unsubscribe to get a refund of their money. However, most of these efforts don't succeed. Several fake subscription services have been detected, and this number is set to rise because of the challenges involved with educating a large population of non-technical users. To protect yourself from these fake-subscription services, it would be wise to research these brands and their offers before subscribing.
3. Government Spies
One of the emerging threats on android phones is government-sponsored spying. For example, the Chinese government has installed malware on the phones of tourists visiting the region. This policy has formed a dangerous precedent. Many governments are attacking the endpoints of applications to access unencrypted data.
The government targets the end-user and finds vulnerabilities in their mobile devices that allow them access to instant messaging conversations. To guard against such violations of privacy, it's vital to use messaging applications with advanced end-to-end encryption that's difficult to penetrate.
Another common android threat is the Hiddad application. This application looks genuine but has a Trojan lurking in the background. A user may download a legitimate game like Tetrix, which may have malicious text running in the background.
When the application is downloaded, it asks you for permission to gain access to your phone contacts. Many people agree to these requests. The application will then begin sending your information to third parties. Hiddad is mainly featured in third-party app stores. However, you'll not find this app on the Google Play store because of the strict security standards it has for applications.
Google checks out the structure of applications in its store to determine whether its binaries go beyond the game itself. Third-party stores don't review potential suspicious activity. Therefore, to guard against applications such as Hiddad, you should use renowned app stores like Google Play Store and iOS App store.
Sideloading is a means of delivering a corrupt product by incorporating a remote access Trojan payload into an APK (Android Package) file. Google Play store has put in place measures of blocking sideloading.
Therefore, one of the primary means of getting sideloading on devices that rely on the Google Play store is by using phishing email campaigns. To guard against sideloading, you should avoid downloading applications from untrusted or non-approved sources. It's also crucial to close off entry points to your device by deactivating sideloading controls.
6. Spy Banker
Spy Banker is a Trojan that targets people’s online bank accounts. The Trojan transfers money from these bank accounts to third-party locations. The hackers begin by deploying malware that inspects the types of banking applications installed in your mobile phone. From there, the cybercriminal collects data to be able to log into the online bank account. The threat actor then goes after your phone number to be able to provide a second factor, which is necessary for authenticating your identity.
Spy Banker normally runs invisibly in the background stealing your credentials when you're logged into your bank account on the mobile application. The Trojan steals the pin number sent to your phone for second-factor authentication. After the hacker collects your bank account and login information, they'll immediately start abusing it.
The current cyber threats have extended to smartphones. Nowadays, cybercriminals are able to spot the vulnerabilities on android phones and use them to attain crucial information and get unauthorized access to bank accounts and other sensitive databases.
It's essential to be careful about which stores you use to download applications. Most importantly, you need to be keen on which applications you download and the permissions you grant to these apps. A rule of thumb is to practice safe online browsing. This entails being on the lookout for phishing emails, fake subscriptions, and suspicious applications.