Things You Need to Know About Smartphone Malware

October 13, 2015

With the recent discovery of malware in the Apple App Store, it is important to be vigilant about what you install on your smartphone.  Joseph Steinberg of SecureMySocial has provided a thorough list of potential malware scenarios.  Keep your valuable information safe!


1. Criminals are exploiting the unique opportunities presented to them by smartphones. Many attackers penetrate people's devices when the victims download free apps. Be careful what you install on your phone.

2. Ten out of the top 25 most prolific threats are mobile spyware – malware that allows unauthorized parties to track a phone owner's location and movement, monitor his or her phone calls, and read his or her text messages and emails. Criminals may even be able to watch, record, or monitor other activity – such as online banking or browsing. As to be expected, among the top risks described by the report is banking-oriented spyware (so called "Banking Trojans") that specifically seeks to steal banking credentials (and, in some cases, also credit card numbers).

3. There are now mobile ransomware-type apps that demand that users pay money to access their devices and data by claiming to have encrypted the contents of Android devices. Unlike true ransomware on Windows computers, however, some of these apps do not to actually do what they claim to do, and a technically-knowledgeable person can recover his or her data without paying the ransom. Others, however, do encrypt SD card contents – which often includes a user’s pictures and videos.

4. Criminals are making money by installing malware that surreptitiously sends text messages to special numbers that charge senders a fee for sending to them. This problem is more prevalent overseas than in the United States, perhaps due to the difficulty in our nation of setting up such a number while remaining anonymous.

Read the full list on