Sure, no mobile platform is impervious from the efforts of determined hackers, but it’s hard to deny that Android is seemingly affected by more potent security threats far more often than Apple’s iOS.
Underscoring this fact, the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3) recently issued a statement highlighting two new types of malware that have been propagating across the Android ecosystem as of late – Loozfon and FinFisher.
Loozfon is an information-stealing piece of malware. Criminals use different variants to lure the victims. One version is a work-at-home opportunity that promises a profitable payday just for sending out email. A link within these advertisements leads to a website that is designed to push Loozfon on the user’s device. The malicious application steals contact details from the user’s address book and the infected device’s phone number.
FinFisher is a spyware capable of taking over the components of a mobile device. When installed the mobile device can be remotely controlled and monitored no matter where the Target is located. FinFisher can be easily transmitted to a Smartphone when the user visits a specific web link or opens a text message masquerading as a system update.
So all in all, the FBI issued a warning to smartphone users that Android malware is real and that user’s should be cognizant of their browsing habits. Of course, the same advice also applies to iOS users or any Internet user for that matter, but it’s probably not a coincidence that the platform cited in the FBI’s press release was Android.
Apple has undoubtedly received its fair share of flack regarding its app store approval process, but given the safety considerations, it’s hard to argue with Apple’s method.
Remember that back in May 2011, Google removed 21 malware infected apps from the Android marketplace that were able to run executable code on a user’s device from a remote server. And lest you think these are apps most folks ignore, the apps in question were cumulatively downloaded over 50,000 times before Google caught wind of what was going on and took action.