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Thread: [GUIDE] FAQ on viruses, malware & browser security

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    [GUIDE] FAQ on viruses, malware & browser security

    MALWARE
    There is a lot of misinformation that exists about virus infection & malware on android devices. The most common being that malware does not exist for android. While that was once the case, sadly it is no longer true. This FAQ will answer some of the most common questions that are asked, so, as they said in one of the Aliens films, "rumour control, here are the facts"

    1. Malware does exist for android devices - BUT it is extremely rare when compared to Windows based malware.

    2. Malware has been found on the official Google Play Store - but only in less than around 200 apps in total, over a number of occasions and only for a short time prior to being removed.

    3. Malware is an issue on mobile devices - particularly smartphones - this report makes informative reading...
    Lookout Report - The State of Mobile Security 2012

    4. The best defence against malware is user knowledge & understanding. I recommend you read Android permissions explained, security tips, and avoiding malware - Android Forums

    5. There are a number of free security apps on the market - historically I have always used Lookout Security & Antivirus, by Lookout Mobile Security. Recently, however, I have changed to TrustGo - the first app & service ever to get a 100% rating from AV Test. (See post #31). Other apps are AVG, Avast!, & Norton, just to name some of the more popular ones that are available.

    6. A security app should not run your battery down or use up your system resources.
    The Official Lookout Blog | Infographic: Battery Saving 101

    7. Google now run a malware scanning service on the official Play Store - this provides a great security shield giving additional confidence in the Play Store - post #4 below tells you all about it. Additionally, Google plans to extend their security services beyond Google Play and create a system for real-time continuous malware monitoring for Android. They will be evolving their "verify apps" service to take on the worthy task of finding and eliminating malware before you ever have to worry about it - post #38 tells you more about that.

    8. For the first time, although very limited in scope, "drive by" malware for android has been discovered. To give yourself 100% protection against this type of malware, ensure that in "settings, security" the check box next to "unknown sources" is NOT ticked. For further information, see post #20 in this thread.



    Quick & simple protection for your Asus Tablet (or other Android Device)
    Some may feel that the 8 points preceding this section are too complicated & give too much information. If that is you, here are 3 simple steps to take to protect yourself.

    1. Only ever install apps from the Play Store & even then only install reputable apps with a decent number of downloads & good reviews.
    2. Install TrustGo from the Play Store. It is free, reliable, regularly updated & regularly at the top of independent tests.
    3. Ensure that in "settings, security" the check box next to "unknown sources" is NOT ticked.




    BROWSER SECURITY
    Another related subject is whether Android is safe to use for online transactions such as shopping or banking. There is no evidence that says that these activities are any less safe when performed on your Transformer than on any other OS. I regularly make online purchases from my Transformer.

    There are, however, steps that should be taken, and these apply across all OSs.

    1. Don't use public wifi.

    2. Use security on your home router.

    3. Use a strong banking password (alphanumeric & case sensitive) & change it regularly.

    4. Don't store passwords/login details in your browser.

    5. Keep your browser apps up to date.

    6. Ensure you log in to your bank through the url you have entered, not from a link either in an email or anywhere else.

    7. Ensure you are logging in / banking though an https connection.

    Forum member joietrans also makes the following useful comment on this subject:
    " I think it is also important to remember that what is vital to financial security is to keep a close watch over financial statements and when and how credit charges and other bank transactions become posted - whether you use internet banking sites or not. Fraud statistics have indicated that your financial information is far more likely to be compromised through low-tech mailbox theft, dumpster diving or someone lifting your credit card number when your card leaves your sight (like in a restaurant) than it is through internet banking. There is no substitute for vigilance over your financial records and checking your reports from the three credit reporting agencies on an annual basis. "
    Last edited by janner43; 04-04-2013 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Referenced TrustGo.

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  2. #2
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    Please feel free to ask any questions on this subject in this thread - hopefully someone will know the answer!

    However, this thread is being maintained as an information thread on the subject of android malware & security, so please do not engage in debates on the subject within the thread, or post general comments. Thank you. (Posts that do not follow this pattern will be deleted.)

    Some readers may want to say thanks for a particular post - can I ask that we keep the thread as tidy as possible by saying "thank you" by simply tapping the LIKE icon at the end of the post you like. It will make it much easier to read the thread that way. Thank you.
    Last edited by janner43; 03-18-2012 at 10:00 AM.
    blues93, wamattox and kman61 like this.

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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    New malware threat - or simply aggressive advertising? The choice is yours, but if you don't like it you can just uninstall the app
    Latest Android Malware scare might be premature

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

    Your opinion matters. But should you disagree - please try not to be disagreeable

    Forum guide - here ~~ T100 FAQs - here ~~ Cold boot - here

    Adobe Flash Player & Browser Guide here

    Master Help Guide - here ~~ FAQ malware - here ~~ FAQ e-reading - here
    Android device personal pantheon...
    SGS; Huawei Y300; Motoroloa Razr; CnM Touchpad II; Asus TF101; Lenovo A1; Motorola Xoom 2 ME; Samsung Tab 2 7.0

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    Google Bouncer

    On February 2nd 2012, Google announced that they had developed a new service, codenamed Bouncer, which provides automated scanning of Android Market for potentially malicious software without disrupting the user experience of Android Market or requiring developers to go through an application approval. You can read their official blog, here - Official Google Mobile Blog

    Forum staff member Jeffrey informed the forum of the news from an Apple blog perspective, Apple Insider

    While forum member bogolisk brought us news of an interesting interview with Google's Android VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer published by Computerworld. Android Market security: Computerworld Blogs

    All this is great news for the android OS & provides greater security than ever before for Android users.
    Last edited by janner43; 02-06-2012 at 07:22 AM.

  5. #5
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    i am very interested in this subject.. i had lookout installed on my droid x and i still got some sort of ads mal ware.. i had to install some other app to take away the ads that would pop up in my notifications... so how good is lookout when it didn't even help me with the ads mal ware???

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackc3 View Post
    i am very interested in this subject.. i had lookout installed on my droid x and i still got some sort of ads mal ware.. i had to install some other app to take away the ads that would pop up in my notifications... so how good is lookout when it didn't even help me with the ads mal ware???
    An interesting question which will help to add a useful addition to this thread as it raises the subject of "adware".

    Readers will certainly be familiar with the annoying class of malware that has existed for years now on traditional pc systems which goes by the generic title of "adware". While many apps on the market are free to use, they are supported by advertising that is displayed on the android device as a small advertising banner. This is very acceptable to many users as a "small price to pay" for a free app. Recently, however, there has been increasing use of more aggressive forms of advertising which "push" adverts to a systems' notification area even if the app is not being used at that time. This effectively amounts to an android equivelant of pc style adware. As these apps are not actually causing harm to a system, whether they should be classed as malware is a debate that can take place elsewhere on the forum, please , but as they are unwanted - if easily removed when identified - many users may consider them as such.

    There are now several apps which will detect this activity, identify which app is using this system & allow you to remove it. Searching for "airpush detector" on the market should return a list. While this is not, in any way, a thread that is a "Lookout fanboy thread", you might like to know that Lookout also have an app for that, here is their news blog on the subject. The Official Lookout Blog | Lookout Labs Releases Push Ad Detector

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

    Your opinion matters. But should you disagree - please try not to be disagreeable

    Forum guide - here ~~ T100 FAQs - here ~~ Cold boot - here

    Adobe Flash Player & Browser Guide here

    Master Help Guide - here ~~ FAQ malware - here ~~ FAQ e-reading - here
    Android device personal pantheon...
    SGS; Huawei Y300; Motoroloa Razr; CnM Touchpad II; Asus TF101; Lenovo A1; Motorola Xoom 2 ME; Samsung Tab 2 7.0

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    OK, this is going to sound like an absolutely ridiculous question but, what is malware? I'm sorry for my ignorance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo1980 View Post
    OK, this is going to sound like an absolutely ridiculous question but, what is malware? I'm sorry for my ignorance!
    It comes from french, meaning ''bad software'' i believe. In other words viruses, software that harms your computer or steals your info.
    Jo1980 and janner43 like this.

  9. #9
    Ratchet
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    As there have been a number of reports of ineffective anti-virus and malware protection software failing to work properly, here's a link to the latest independent report (March 2012). This report is based on tests carried out on many of the prominent apps claiming to detect and kill virus and malware infections on Android devices. It makes for very interesting reading. The actual test results can be seen by following a link at the bottom of the report. I would strongly advise anyone to read this before parting with any money on such software...
    AV-TEST - The Independent IT-Security Institute: Android

    In case you can't be bothered reading, here's a brief summary showing the only 10 applications that managed a greater than 90% detection rate (in alphabetical order):
    Avast! Free Mobile Security
    Dr. Web anti-virus Light
    F-Secure Mobile Security
    IKARUS mobile.security LITE
    Kaspersky Mobile Security
    Lookout Security & Antivirus
    McAfee Mobile Security
    MYAndroid Protection
    NQ Mobile Security
    Zoner AntiVirus Free

    All the others on the list scored less than 90% and in a few cases, zero!



    Update
    Please see post #31 for the 2013 update from AV-Test.
    Last edited by janner43; 04-04-2013 at 09:52 AM.
    Asus Eee Transformer TF101 with dock (both B70) and Android ICS v4.0.3
    Rooted using ViperMOD PrimeTime 4.5 Root (again)


    Rooting, the easy way - HERE
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    Anti-virus and Malware help & advice - HERE

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    Thanks for that Leaston. IMO there is no need to spend money on a paid solution for android at this time.
    Having now read the report, it looks to me as if Avast! and Lookout came out as the best free solutions at this time.
    Last edited by janner43; 03-21-2012 at 03:11 AM.
    Simmo71 likes this.

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

    Your opinion matters. But should you disagree - please try not to be disagreeable

    Forum guide - here ~~ T100 FAQs - here ~~ Cold boot - here

    Adobe Flash Player & Browser Guide here

    Master Help Guide - here ~~ FAQ malware - here ~~ FAQ e-reading - here
    Android device personal pantheon...
    SGS; Huawei Y300; Motoroloa Razr; CnM Touchpad II; Asus TF101; Lenovo A1; Motorola Xoom 2 ME; Samsung Tab 2 7.0

 

 
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