Friday, the Internet Crime Complaint Center, more commonly known as IC3, released a warning concerning mobile malware. This warning comes in response to the growing number of malware that targets Android, potentially leaving users’ data and devices vulnerable. Following the warning is a series of safety tips aimed at helping consumers keep their mobile devices malware-free.
The report states, “The IC3 has been made aware of various malware attacking Android operating systems for mobile devices. Some of the latest known versions of this type of malware are Loozfon and FinFisher.” The report goes on to describe two pieces of malware. Loozfon steals information, while FinFisher is spyware that, once installed, can be used to monitor and take remote control of the mobile device it infects.
Back in August, Kaspersky Labs reported that malware targeting Android increased threefold in Q2 of 2012, with 14,900 new malicious programs added to its database. According to the report, nearly half of the items added to its database were “multi-functional trojans” that mined contact info from infected phones, such as names and phone numbers. Backdoor trojans accounted for 18% of the threats detected.
What can you do to help safeguard your Android device from malware? IC3 recommends turning off features on the phone that aren’t needed to “minimize the attack surface of the device,” using encryption, reviewing app publishers and reviews before downloading, and understanding the permissions you give an app, among a few others. The report recommends using a passcode as a first layer of security, and changing the settings so that the passcode is enabled after the phone is idle for a few minutes. While all the tips are fairly straight-forward, it’s good to keep them in mind.