Android warning: Do NOT download apps until know about these threats

Opt-in to Cyber Safety. Multiple layers of protection for your devices, online privacy and more.


Android users are no strangers to warnings of malware attacks targeting their devices, but this year might just be the worst year yet. A new report from security experts at McAfee has revealed the true scale of the problem. According to the anti-virus firm, “2021 is shaping up to be a year of malware misinformation and sneak attacks.” These new threats range from annoying adware that fills devices with endless pop-ups, to more serious banking malware which has the ability to steal personal financial data and access accounts. If you use Android, the best thing you can do is learn about the types of attack on the rise in 2021 so you know what to look out for when using your handset and downloading new apps.

Google has been hard at work making its Play Store far more robust, but just as fast, hackers have uncovered new techniques to infiltrate devices. One of the most popular ways to access a smartphone is to trick Android users to install apps via text messages or posts on social media.

Unlike Apple’s iPhone, Android is a much more open platform, which means applications can be installed from sources outside of the Play Store. This makes it a prime target for hackers intent on stealing data. So, if you own an Android phone here are four of the biggest threats to watch out for this year.

BANKING MALWARE

Banking Malware has boomed in recent months with McAfee Mobile Security detecting a 141 percent increase between Q3 and Q4 2020.

Most Banking Trojans are distributed via mechanisms such as phishing SMS messages to avoid Google’s screening process. These malicious apps appear as some type of security scanner, with names such as OutProtect, PrivacyTitan, GreatVault, SecureShield, and DefenseScreen

Once activated they pretend to scan the phone for issues but they are simply looking for apps related to the targeted financial institutions such as online banking. If one is found, the malware notifies the user that a popular app, such as Google Chrome, WhatsApp, or a fake PDF reader, is out of date and urging an immediate update.

Clicking the “Update Now” button downloads additional malicious code and asks the user to enable accessibility services, which gives the app broad control of the…

Source…