Hackers are getting very good at hiding their true intentions. There are plenty of ways a hacker can gain access to a users’ mobile phone without the knowledge of the operator.
A common method of getting users to run malicious code without their knowledge is to hide it within a tiny link. Users should not click on any links sent to them via email or text unless they know the sender of the link.
Another method of getting users to run malicious code is to hide it within an application that a user installs from the app store. That is why it’s important to only install verified apps. It’s also important to give an application the least number of permissions required to operate.
Lastly, it’s recommended that a user delete apps or remove permissions from unused apps to prevent them from accessing the user’s data. Most Android phones do this automatically if the setting is enabled.
Most people don’t know that computer viruses affect more than just Windows computers. Viruses also affect mobile phone operating systems and third-party applications that run within the operating system. For this reason, it’s a good practice for the user to install anti-virus software on a mobile phone. Once installed, the user should configure the software to automatically scan and update virus definitions. Some mobile phone carriers such as Verizon and T-Mobile offer free subscriptions to anti-virus software depending on the mobile plan the phone is attached to.
Hackers know the last thing a user wants to do is sit and wait for their phone to update. For that reason, a hacker will write malicious code that will work against newly released vulnerabilities in the hope that a user has not updated their phone. Operating system and application updates usually have critical patches in them that hardens the phone from previously identified vulnerabilities. Updating a users’ mobile phone to the latest patches goes a long way towards protecting the phone from viruses.
In conclusion, pay close attention to the activity on your phone. The wrong click or an install of the wrong application can be fatal. Anti-virus software can be run on your mobile phone to safeguard this from happening or, at the very least, triage the situation after the fact by quarantining affected applications and notifying the user of a suspected attack. Updates also go a long way in helping to keep unwanted intruders out.
By DeAndre Johnson, Sr. Systems Administrator