This Trojan is terrorizing Android mobile phone consumers by hiding amongst existing apps on the device, and has been associated with 32 different Android apps. Malware hidden in legitimate apps only becomes live upon post-launch updates. Once active, it sends up a false notification asking users to download an app – this is the Bad News malware piece. When dormant, Bad News is able to register the user for premium SMS services, running up their phone bill to extreme amounts, as well as harvesting private information stored in the Android device. It’s reported that even when users try to reset their device, the chaos continues. Experts have identified the Google Play store as the primary source for this application download, with their loose application selection process cited as an issue.
As viruses become more sophisticated, it’s important to be extra cautious about what you’re downloading and sharing. You certainly don’t want to be the one to spread Bad News amongst your friends and work colleagues!
Here are 6 quick tips to help you stay virus-free:
- Clear passwords and history frequently.
- Think twice before performing an action suggested in a suspicious message or pop-up window – investigate it first.
- Read app reviews.
- Read requested permissions carefully before accepting them.
- Rooted Androids need extra attention. Read more about the risks of rooting your Android device.
- Get mobile antivirus installed on your Android.