Mobile phones have become a crucial component of our daily lives in today’s fast-paced society. We are fast moving towards a digitally connected environment, with over 1.17 billion mobile phones and more than 500 million mobile broadband services in the country. We utilise a variety of smart Apps for various purposes, including business, knowledge sharing, social networking, commerce, edutainment, and payments. It obeys all of our commands via our fingertips and even gestures, satisfying our requirements. Smart devices make our life easier by allowing us to connect via many channels such as WiFi, internet, Bluetooth, OTG dongles, and even traditional wired networks. On the other hand, malicious actors can exploit users if there is a lack of caution among them.
The following are some hazards to mobile device Apps that every user should be aware of:
Cloning an app
Most popular Apps can be the victim of nefarious activities such as “App cloning,” and few Mobile Operating Systems, such as Android, are more subject to malware that can attack users with data or personal information theft programmes or Ransomware. The unscrupulous actors offer cloned apps on the Play Store or create.apk files on their website, promising customers “previews” of new apps or “early access” to new versions of famous apps. It seems to be a legitimate App, but when users install the cloned App, they are forced to grant full access to their phones, allowing it to eavesdrop on everything they do. Photos, personal and sensitive information, keystrokes, and also passwords used to access various websites or Apps for personal use are examples. These rogue apps can also take the form of Ransomware, in which users are compelled to pay enormous sums of money to bad actors to regain access to sensitive data that has been taken.
Users have a strong desire to download and exchange files, including programmes and software, movies, music, and games, among other things, via torrents, other content hosting sites, and even Bluetooth connections. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most pirated publications come with their own set of risks. Some malware obtains access to data saved on mobile devices without the users’ knowledge.
Slots available for charging
Attackers are always coming up with different ways to get their malware into mobile phones. How would you react if you were told that it is vulnerable every time you charge your phone at a “free” charging station? If a charging station is infected, what appears to be a basic charging plug-in cafeteria, shopping mall, train station, or airport can be exploited to transmit malicious malware or data to your phone.
Apart from these dangers, even legitimate programmes may ben’t well-secured or have coding flaws. It allows a malicious Trojan to read and send the contents of emails and SMS messages to hijackers. Consider the possibility that these malicious actors will be able to receive dynamic OTP from your bank! If these apps have access to the credit card or bank account-related static information, users could be severely harmed.
So, how can you prevent your handheld devices from being hacked?
When customers purchase a new smartphone, the first thing they should do is install a reputable, paid antivirus or antimalware programme. Remember in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch. There’s a chance that several “free” antivirus software packages are Malware, Adware, or Bloatware. It may bombard you with adverts and persistent pop-ups, or, in the worst-case scenario, it may completely ruin your phone and render it useless.
Users should only download apps from reputable sources and never “jailbreak” or “root” their phone to install Apps from websites or send Apps via other ways. Rooting is a method of gaining access to the Android operating system’s source code, and it can entirely expose your phone, removing all privacy and security. In the worst-case scenario, your phone may be utilised as a part of a “botnet,” which could be used to launch attacks against other websites, including government websites and other businesses.
Malware files can be disguised as music, movie, or e-book files, among other things. Before you download an app, check its reputation ratings on the official App shops for your phone, whether the Android Play Store or the Windows/App Store.
Always pair your smartphone with a trusted source, whether by Bluetooth or another method.
Finally, always connect your device to a reliable power supply! These precautions should be sufficient to keep you safe.