What Is Android Malware? How Malware Infects Android in 3 Ways?

Having an android device is like holding the virtual world in the palm of the hand but some parts of the world are not very engulfed when it comes to technology. As smartphones are swiftly getting more and more sophisticated, business enterprises have begun to embrace the idea of bringing personal devices into the workplace and allowing employees to access corporate networks using personal devices. But security experts and business leaders, the emerging technologies and systems that are being developed today are presenting both opportunities and difficulties. According to research by Wandera, 36.5% of organizations have suffered from a malware incident.

Checkout our guide about how to keep android devices safe from malware.

Table of Content

  1. What is Android Malware?
  2. Types of Android Malware
  3. Android Malware Spreading Techniques
  4. How to Avoid Android Malware?
  5. How to Know About Android Malware Attack?
  6. What Can be Done to Remove the Malware?

What is Android Malware?

Android malware is a type of malicious software that is meant to attack mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to obtain access to personal information. 

Mobile security issues are gradually becoming a rising issue as more delicate and possibly confidential tasks are becoming feasible using android smartphones.

Types of Android Malware

Hackers have begun to switch their targets and tactics as users are increasingly moving away from computer operating systems towards android devices. It is critical to comprehend the many forms of Android malware threats to increase security. Some of the most prevalent varieties are listed below:

Trojans

Android Trojans are malicious applications that run in the background on an Android device without the user’s knowledge. The reasons could range from stealing and transferring personal data to distant sites to functioning as DDoS bots against specific targets. By getting access to an android device, trojans can steal sensitive data or download other malware.

If any of the following signs start showing then there’s a significant possibility of a trojan attack-

  • Running at a much slower pace than usual.
  • The battery is depleting at a higher rate than usual.
  • Increasing data use but surfing patterns have remained the same.
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Keylogger Malware

Android keylogger is a software which can be downloaded covertly on a smartphone that enables anyone to remotely monitor and snoop on an android device. Texts, phone logs, emails, apps, browsing history, social media activity, images, videos etc can be accessed and monitored by this malware. The loss of these personal and private data will have a negative impact on both reputation and resources. To prevent keylogger malware it is essential to realize the signs:

  • The battery is being drained a bit unnaturally.
  • The phone is getting hot after stopping all the applications.
  • Receiving weird text messages.
  • Performance is slowly deteriorating.
  • The phone starts acting abnormally like turning off and on.

Ransomware

Although ransomware is mostly a threat for computers, research by Microsoft says hackers have begun to devote money and effort to the development of mobile ransomware tools to encrypt sensitive files and, on occasion, locks the screen to demand payment. There are no possible signs to demonstrate any possible ransomware threat. However, being cautious or using security software might reduce the chances of these threats. 

Spyware

Android spyware is extremely invasive and harmful to users since it allows hackers to monitor a variety of items, including images and videos, website history, text messages, call history, and location. Spyware installed on rooted Android devices can be used to activate the webcam and microphone, take screenshots, monitor activities on third-party apps, and intercept, forward, or record phone calls. 

Adware

Adware is a term used to describe annoying advertisements that appear on Android devices even when the user is not browsing or using apps that allow ads. If the following signs keep happening then the device is affected by adware:

  • Ads that keep popping up and new tabs that won’t close
  • The homepage or search engine of the browser keeps changing without your permission.
  • Browser extensions or toolbars that you don’t want keep reappearing.
  • The browsing experience is hijacked, and the user is sent to strange pages or advertisements.
  • Notifications concerning a virus or contaminated device

Android Malware Spreading Techniques

Allowing employees to use their own devices might save money and improve efficiency but unfortunately, it also raises security concerns for the company network and the data stored on it. A single data breach through a personal device has the ability to cause pervasive infiltration and massive data loss. Demonstrate the following common ways will be wary of the threats:

Spoofing

Spoofing refers to the practice of posing as a legitimate source to the target by masquerading applications or websites. Spoofing can also be used for more sinister purposes, such as convincing recipients to click on a harmful link via spoofed emails. In most cases, attackers use this method for a specific target after doing a good amount of research.

Phishing

Phishing is a common computer phenomenon but has historically concentrated on obtaining information via email. However, phishing using text messages (smishing) and messaging apps has grown considerably more prevalent which completely relies on social engineering to get through complex security technology in a variety of methods, the most frequent of which is through impersonating. On a mobile device, users are more willing to respond to a suspicious link than on a computer.

Rooted Android Device

Rooting a device means overriding internal security measures and gaining complete control of the operating system. As mentioned above rooted android devices pose a greater threat in terms of malware attacks. Those who intend to root their devices to install third-party apps that aren’t authorized by their operating system or play protection opens a doorway for hackers. 

How to Avoid Android Malware?

The ability to safeguard a network from android malware is mainly reliant on instincts of understanding the above-mentioned dissemination mechanisms. However, the tips of the following pointer aid in the prevention of malware on Android devices:

  • Set a PIN, password, pattern, or fingerprint security to ensure that the devices can’t be accessed by someone who might want to watch the activities, for example, by installing malware.
  • The timeout on the screen should be no more than 10-20 seconds to ensure that any potential malicious actors do not get the chance to obtain access.
  • Stay away from rooting the device.
  • Installing apps from third-party sources is not recommended
  • Before installing from google play always verify the source.
  • Be careful of granting permission to apps.
  • Always keep the operating system and apps up to date.
  • Encryption is a simple and obvious approach to keep your data safe from prying eyes.
  • Frequently backup necessary data.

How to Know about Android Malware Attack?

If any device gets infected with malware after clicking a malicious link via message or downloading a rogue app, then the device will start showing indications by performing slowly.

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What can be Done to Remove the Threat?

For any kind of legal help, you can contact a law enforcement agency.

USA: Contact FBI cybercrime unit  Contact Us — FBI

UK: Contact NCA cybercrime unit Cyber crime – National Crime Agency

EU: Contact Europol cybercrime unit  Report Cybercrime online | Europol (europa.eu)

Australia: Contact AFP Cyber crime | Australian Federal Police (afp.gov.au)

Canada: Contact CCCS Report a cyber incident – Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

As a starter for non-tech savvy users, we recommend a factory reset. Please keep in mind, a factory reset will restore the device to its previous state. If there is no risk of losing essential data, and deleting suspicious apps in safe mode will also assist. However, if none of these options works, consulting experts will help you recover from an attack.

TechForing can assist with the detection and response to any android malware threat all around the clock.