BBB: Smart-Phone Warnings

October 25, 2012 3:56:06 AM PDT
Consumers are familiar with malware that attacks their computers and understand the measures necessary to protect against it, but there is new malware that targets smartphones with Android operating systems.

The Better Business Bureau is warning the owners of these devices about the need to take precautions. Initial reports of these malware complaints came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). There are two versions of the malware that hit the Android systems in different ways. Loozfon is similar to phishing emails that lure users with offers of prizes or fast cash. By opening the email, the link pushes the malware onto the device and enables it to steal the address book and its contents. The second FinFisher uses text messages or links to load the malware onto the phone. Once installed, FinFisher is able to control and monitor the mobile device, regardless of its location.

"It is important to understand the different ways that malware can infiltrate a mobile device," said Steve J. Bernas, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "By understanding how it works, consumers can better protect their phones and their sensitive information."

The BBB advises that mobile device users follow these steps:

Understand how malware works. Be aware of the different ways that the malware passes into the Android operating system. Do not open emails or text messages that look questionable.

Do not open messages from unknown senders. Do not click on any links or reply to messages that are from a network or email that is not secure or trustworthy. Make sure to completely delete the message from your inbox.

Update your software. It is important to make sure that the applications are up to date so that they can better protect the phone. Run a full virus scan immediately on your phone if you click on any questionable links.

Be cautious with unknown servers. Be wary about connecting to unknown wireless servers. These could pass malware onto your device. For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org


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