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Security researchers recently revealed one attack campaign that released malicious Android apps that were nearly identical to legitimate secure messaging programs, including Whats App and Signal, tricking thousands of people in nearly 20 countries into installing it.
These apps were downloaded via a website called Secure Android, and once installed, gave hackers access to photos, location information, audio capture, and message contents.
From email to banking, our smartphones are the main hub of our online lives.
No wonder that smartphones are starting to stack up to computers as common targets for online hackers.
While not all pop-ups mean your phone has been hacked, constant pop-up alerts could indicate that your phone has been infected with adware, a form of malware that forces devices to view certain pages that drive revenue through clicks.According to EFF Staff Technology Cooper Quentin, of note is that the malware did not involve a sophisticated software exploit, but instead only required “application permissions that users themselves granted when they downloaded the apps, not realizing that they contained malware.” Malware is often downloaded from non-official sources, including phishing links sent via email or message, as well as malicious websites such as the Secure Android site mentioned above.(While security experts recommend always downloading from official app stores – like the Apple App Store or Google Play – some countries are unable to access certain apps from these sources, for example, secure messaging apps that would allow people to communicate secretly.) Across the board, mobile malware has been on the riseup – in part due to an increase in political spies trying to break into the devices of persons of interest.This could be down to malware that is overloading the phone’s resources or clashing with other applications.You may also experience continued running of applications despite efforts to close them, or even have the phone itself crash and/or restart repeatedly.