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Android phones under increased security risk from malware hidden in apps

Following the constantly growing interest in Android phones, the Google-powered handsets are now seeing  increased attacks from malware and security hacking.

According Interweb security giant, Symantec, the increase in most recent attacks comes from malware hidden inside dodgy (often free) versions of legimate apps found on Android marketplace.

The program, Android.Pjapps, is found inside a version of Steamy Window, which, although working like the foggy original, also leaks the ability to install other apps, navigate to websites, send (and block) text messages, along with sending “sensitive user information.”

To make sure you’re not installing the virulent, sneaky version if the app is to check the permissions listed when you install it. (Check the picture above; though the chinese characters make it a tad suspect to us.) If it wants access to all sorts on your phone, it may be worth thinking twice before installing.

Symantec also have a few more tips to avoid mucking up your phone, and most of it is common sense stuff.

  • Only use the regulated official Android marketplaces for downloading apps, and adjust the application settings to stop the installation of ‘non-market’ apps.
  • Gauge other users’ opinions in the comments section to confirm the app does what you expect it to.
  • When you install an apps, always check the ‘permissions’ that the app is requesting; that is, the things that you’re letting the app access on your phone, like Google Maps needs the GPS function.

For tech-heads, you can find more info on the malicious programs from Symantec.

 


 

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