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Malware on Android - a myth or real threat

0. phoneArena 05 Dec 2012, 07:21 posted on

We're hearing about this almost every day - there's malware on Android, and it's easy to get your device infected. Reports coming from security companies are painting a troubling picture - with each quarter, there are more and more Android programs designed to conquer our devices, take control, steal information or secretly dial premium numbers. The goals of the so-called malware can be most various, but one thing is common for them all - they won't do you any good. But no matter how many reports we get, we can't help but wonder how big of a threat this really is. Should we be worried about it, or should we just ignore? Before we begin our exploration through the supposedly infected lands of Android, it's always good to have a general understanding of what malware is...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 08:55

18. tedkord (Posts: 13487; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I've never undersold why people download wallpaper apps. Its so easy to set and picture as your wallpaper. I've had dozens of wallpapers. All were simple jpegs I downloaded to the phone.

They're not live wallpapers, but I've never seen the point of those at all.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 09:17 1

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 23928; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


After a while I stopped using them all together.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 08:48

15. F5AllMobileWebsite (Posts: 5; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


every time when i check out my friends android n then i saw an antivirus app running. i told them to uninstall it :)

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 08:51 5

16. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Uneducated users don't even know that there are apps available for android outside play store....so it isn't a big thread....

But yea...half knowledge is always dangerous.....

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 09:23 3

23. squeeb (Posts: 99; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Never been infected in 3+ years of android usage. I've flashed multiple phones, and used plenty of side loaded apps over that time.

Just like on the PC, this generally happens to people who don't know what they're doing.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 09:35 6

25. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


NOt a myth, but it is hyped to scare people needlessly.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 09:35 4

26. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


I have to admit that I kinda shook my head when I seen Ray wrote this one, but I think you hit this topic right on. Good read. I agree that most problem come from the lack of the user and not of the platform. When friend and family tell me that they have viruses on their computers, i usually just tell them to stop clicking on every damn thing that pops up on the internet.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 15:33

49. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)


I know right? lol that would fix 99.9% of the issues I'd bet!

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 10:33 4

29. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Has anyone ever heard Google lowly bashing any other OS?

But for Microsoft and Apple.. disgusting and pathetic ucompetitive behavior is the way to go

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 11:06 1

32. Aeires (unregistered)


Fragmentation comments got old so they switched to malware instead. No idea what they'll come up with next when malware gets old.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 12:04

41. fins71 (Posts: 17; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Fragmentation obviously wasnt scary enough to keep people from using Android. Fragmentation is really just a matter of choice. If a budget Android phone is what you need, so be it. My old HTC Hero on 2.1 works just fine still today. I'm not giving up my Note2 though. Scaring people about malware was the obvious next step to try to discourage people from using Android. I've never had a malware problem, or anyone I know either. Fact remains is it can only be put there by allowing it to be installed by the user. Common sense is everyone's friend. MS is really one to talk about malware.lol... Everyone with a laggy pc experience always curses MS. Those are the only malware horror stories I've ever heard of.

posted on 06 Dec 2012, 07:16

73. Aeires (unregistered)


Agreed. I've been using Android since the G1 and never had it occur on any of my 7 Android phones I've had. People don't understand fragmentation, but thanks to years of Windows viruses, everyone understand malware so it's an effective tactic for FUD.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 11:28

77. ZayZay (Posts: 571; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


Trojans?

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 12:20 1

42. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Excellent article! :)

As someone who side-loaded more than 50% of all installed apps from blackmart - I've yet to encounter any malware at all. The biggest "threat" seems to be developers which let bugs sneak in into their legitimate apps.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 13:20

43. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3116; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Can you honestly answer to how many REAL reports of viruses and hacks people have reported since android came to be years ago? Other than Norton and other anti virus companies trying to scare you into buying their products. How many real people have actually been harmed by this? I have been using android for 3 years now, have used more android phones then I can count and I have never had any issues.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 13:23

44. carlos5593 (Posts: 28; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


so, how much did Microsoft paid you to not only make this article, but to put it on the home page? i have been using Android for the last 4 years and never encounter any malware. and one more thing iI never even used any antivirus on any of devices. and I've owned about 15 android phones and tablets.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 14:09 1

46. kagos (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I'll narrate microsoft a nice horror story..let them send their windows 8 phone....i'll run android on it...

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 14:27

47. yowanvista (Posts: 341; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


That good old faked 'malware' term, Any Apps including rogue ones have ZERO access the the low level system resources and can hence cause NO damage to the operating system or any other Apps. The blame lies on the foolish users who download so called faked ' Angry Birds Pro' Apps.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 15:52

50. Stuntman (Posts: 836; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


What can these security apps really do to protect you from malware? From my understanding, the Android OS is pretty secure and does not allow apps to mess with other apps, so to speak. If this is the case, how can security apps stop malware that has gotten on my phone? I really question what security apps can really do to protect me. If I have a security app on my phone and then download a malware app and run it, what can a security app do to stop it? Doesn't Android protect the malware app from the security app?

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 17:01

53. yowanvista (Posts: 341; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Security Apps are all useless on Android since all Apps including rogue apps and any antivirus software run in a virtual machine (Dalvik VM) and any VM has zero access to any other running VM(nor can an App interfere with the operations of another running App) or the kernel itself. No app can ever infect the kernel. This is simply impossible. Whatever said by those AV companies is just pure rubbish.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 16:08

51. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Some Antivirus /Security software company labeled Wordpress the "Most Dangerous" software for web in 2010. Isn't PA running Wordpress? Onus of Securing device is on the user. Three Android devices at home and i havent found anyone to be infected ever.

PA should answer why it is running on Wordpress when it was labelled most dangerous SW in 2010 by bitdefender IIRC ... this is nothing but scaremongering in my opinion. I could be wrong but that still is my opinion :)

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 16:42

52. Jurdiales (Posts: 133; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)


I think if you purchase the apps from the Play Store in the legal way, and not downloading it from webpages claiming as "cracked and free" paid-apps... you should have no problems with malware...

Ohh... and if people stops downloading garbage apps like trash games, some "we need to put bookmarks on your homescreen and you're going to receive notifications" apps... and fake programs that claim to do impossible or extraordinary things... etc.

I like the fact that the Play Store there's much freedom that everyone can put their apps and begin a business so easily, but, maybe is too much freedom??

If we can afford a great phone with very good specs, why we can't afford some 99 cents apps for example, the piracy brings malware and that's proved.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 18:50

54. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


My things is....when Firefox first came out, very lil malware, viruses. As it became more popular, more malware.

No surprise the same thing is going on with Android.

I just posted this in that article article....no security I got waaaaay less malware on my Android phones than I have any Windows desktop OS. I have yet to install any security on my Android phones, started in 2010. I woudlnt dare do that to my desktop PC.

And ppl...please pay attention to the permissions when installing apps!! If a wallpaper wants contact , phone list info....somethings up. Even then, some malware might be clever enough to hide suspicious permissions it wants.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:32

56. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 948; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


I usually like your writing, but this was a bit off. You lingered on the term "horror story" being completely subjective, when in fact I think you cared to make a different point. I think your point with this article was the severity of the malware issue, and not so much the wording (not what MSFT dubbed particular events).

"we can all agree that there is a potential threat in that whole malware thing" + "even though it's undeniable that there is more malware for Android than there's for any other modern platform"

That's the ENTIRE point of #DroidRage. It may not be as big as Microsoft makes it out to be... or it may not be as big as what Android lovers think Microsoft is making it out to be...

And as far as subjectivity goes:
"extracting information like contact numbers, e-mail addresses, log-in details, and, the ultimate goal of all malevolent hackers, credit card details." = a horror story indeed. If you do not think it should be labeled a "horror" story that is subjective.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:39

57. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


ouch....

its good that windows phone is making things possible...but heck... they're all talk!

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 21:59

63. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


i have a question...how to delete or deactivate unwanted notifications or ads? i always recieve one and im annoyed with it! coz i downloaded an app (speed night) and its the one causing it... i uninstalled it but it still send me its ads! can you please help me?

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 22:24

65. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Sounds like what happened to me. I would suggest in Settings/Apps look in all or running and see if something looks like it belonged to that app. Might be in Downloads.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 22:31

66. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


yeah... the app causing it is speed night... and i uninstalled it..but still its giving me ad notification!

i wish i dont need to reset my phone...

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 23:57

68. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Try Airpush Dector.

Maybe its another app causing it? Maybe something lese got installed with it? Airpush Dector should find whats causing the issue.

posted on 06 Dec 2012, 06:28

72. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Meant air push detector..lol

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