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Viruses are spread in any type of device, mobile or not. To keep a cell phone secure and safe against hackers’ attacks there’s plenty set of software that offers support against malware. Since users save a lot of important information on a cell phone makes the people wonder if an antivirus should be installed on their devices.
Cell phones are vulnerable in front of hackers’ attacks, so antivirus does need it. Keeping safe and protecting all the information that is kept on a mobile device could be considered a must. Cell phones are connected to the internet most of the time so preventing attacks is necessary nowadays.
The first cell phone virus was detected in 2004 when even a mobile device can hardly connect to the internet. Nowadays, cell phones are more vulnerable than ever.
Even when there is not as much malware for cell phones as much as is for computers, hackers are adapting and expanding collection.
Do Cell Phones Get Viruses?
Since smartphones have gotten popular among users, hackers appoint part of the cyber-attacks on this kind of device.
Nowadays, people use their cell phones not only for texting and calling, but for financial transitions, online shopping, managing and checking social media, and even some people manage their business or e-commerce through their phones.
When a third party gets access to all that information, the user’s identity is in danger.
Most of the viruses created for smartphones are used to damage and steal information. Malware on cell phones is less common than computer viruses, but the technology is approaching to use cell phones and tablets as an alternative for computers.
Even though a cell phone cannot supplant a computer nowadays, users save a lot of important information on it, and people constantly synchronize their phones to their computers.
So this opens a door for hackers to have access to any piece of information about the user.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Cell Phone viruses?
Even when cell phone viruses are not that usual, here’s a list of the most common types of viruses that have been spread on cell phones all over the world.
Spyware malware is often presented to the users as a trustworthy app.
These are downloaded on the phone and send a copy to the hacker’s server of the phone’s activities, apps, information about the owner, location, password, and so on.
Spyware is shown to the people as an ad promoting a genuine app. While the app can work and support what it offers, at the same time, it is stealing any kind of data from the device.
Trojan appears on the cell phone as a text message, and once the user interacts with this, hackers will be able to steal the user’s information.
Most of the trojans try to steal bank information these days, but they can also cause malfunction to other apps, the device itself, and send premium paid texts.
Just like a trojan, a worm malware is shown in a phone as an SMS and/or MMS. A worm doesn’t need the user to interact with it to be activated.
They are massively spread over cell phones to steal any kind of information. There is a series of worm malware that once they steal the information, causes irreparable damage on the phone systems so it will be impossible to track where the virus came from.
A backdoor was created to go through the device security systems. This generally happens when there’s a vulnerability in an app or system.
This type of malware allows someone to have unauthorized access to a device any time they want, so the hacker can access the device without being noticed and see the saved information.
Which are the most common cell phone viruses?
Even when not all the cell phone viruses can be in all the operative systems, I am going to mention the most famous and common ones that can function on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
The Skull malware is one of the most common trojan horses. This virus is characterized by – once unfiltered on the device– changing all the icons to a skull, sending messages and links to extend the virus, and damaging the apks themselves leaving them unusable.
iKee is the first worm that has infiltrated an iOS system. This malware breaks down the device security until it has access to the system terminal, and it uses the IP address and other information to have access to other devices.
Commwarrior is one of the first malware discovered, and it was spotted in 2005. This virus can be spread through Bluetooth and MMS messages.
The Shedun malware can break down all the system security until it gets root privileges. It installs apps, and actually, the creators of the whole series of the shedun-type malware will gain 2$ per apk installed.
This virus is considered aggressive adware, and the only solution is to change the infected device to a new one.
Pegasus is a spyware that can run on iOS and Android.
This malware can get any kind of the user’s information by tracking calls, reading messages, and accessing the camera, microphone, and apps like iMessage, Gmail, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype.
Pegasus is installed on the device once the user accesses a malicious link.
DroidKungFu only affects Android OS. It breaks the phone system security down until it can have access to the apps, network, and even the information saved in an external SD Card.
Is There Antivirus for the Phones?
Whenever that malware exists, app developers come up with security systems to protect a device. An antivirus is a system that searches, detects, and eliminates malware.
Since there is a different kind of malware, there are also different ways to detect them.
How does an Antivirus detect Malware?
Not all viruses attack in ways, even when most of them have the same purpose, to steal information. Because of that, not all antivirus works the same and can detect all types of virus.
Every antivirus has different detection systems, however, most of them use algorithms to detect the behavior and responses of the files to determine its status; this is called the data mining technique.
Most antivirus uses a scanner to check file by file –all the files in the device– if there is any malware. For this, the system uses a signature detection where a series of bytes or specific data in the malware files search in the files.
The “signature” of malware is a specific pattern on the virus data. This main disadvantage is that not all the malware signatures have been discovered, so a virus can bypass this scan.
A virus is mutated by hackers so it would be able to attack another kind of system. The heuristics forms are generics detection to remove a whole virus family by using a generic signature of the family.
An interception software uses a data mining technique to detect the malware by analyzing its behavior.
The software warns the user whenever it detects a suspicious action, and commonly it recommends putting the device into a “quarantine”.
Some malware look for administrative permissions, break the security down until they reach the root and terminals of the systems.
Rootkit Detection type analyses the whole operating system of the device which is invasive, and they can also change how the OS functions.
While it is pretty invasive, I can say they are effective; however, to uninstall, most of the time the whole operating system has to be changed.
On the other hand, below are a list of three types of antivirus software based on the kind of support they offer. These are:
This kind of software is created to detect and remove just a group of specific malware. Sometimes, they have a portable version and function like that.
I recommend using them just as a preventive method whenever a full security suite is not available.
Security Software Suites
They are systems that offer a full set of options to scan, detect, protect and remove a whole operating system. They offer support to detect a variety of viruses, and also offer other kinds of services.
Cloud-Based Antivirus Software
Nowadays, devices are in constant synchronization with the cloud. This software offers a real-time analysis of the files in the cloud whenever it is saved, exported, downloaded, and shared.
Do You Need Antivirus For The Phone?
A device should always be protected. The information that I have on my phone is really important, and a hacker attack could be undetectable.
A phone is constantly connected to the internet, and when some malware is easy to detect and remove, some don’t, so the device is always vulnerable to an attack.
Many apps offer support against cell phone viruses, these are some of them:
Bitdefender Mobile Security
Bitdefender is one of the biggest and better antivirus software. It offers support to cell phones, tablets, and computers.
Its version for mobile devices offers a real-time protecting and advertising filter for smartwatches. Bitdefender promotes a 14-day free trial, but it is a paid app.
McAfee Mobile Security for Android
McAfee Mobile has a free –with ads– and paid premium upgrade.
The free version supports plenty of services to keep a device safe, just like individual scanning for apps, app locking, storage cleaner, and battery booster.
Norton Mobile Security
Norton Mobile Security offers one of the best supports based on mining data detection. It is a paid app, but it offers a complete suite to protect a cell phone.
Avast Mobile Security
Avast Mobile is a free app that offers a complete set of features to keep a device protected.
Avast is, in fact, one of the biggest and oldest brands in the market; and, for cell phones and tablets, have an anti-theft system, remotely loch, deep scanning, and real-time protection.
AVG AntiVirus Free
Supported by Avast, AVG AntiVirus offers a complete set of features that keep a mobile device.
AVG AntiVirus presents another kind of features that goes beyond the typical viruses-detection services, just like anti-theft services, SIM card locking, track and lock a lost device, wi-fi security scanner, app lock, and so on.
How Do You Check For Viruses On The Phone?
Cell phones and mobile devices are also vulnerable to hackers’ attacks.
Even when it is not that usual to see cell phone viruses, they also exist and the device can have malware without being noticed by the user.
If a user does not have any kind of antivirus installed on their cell phone, there are a few signals that let it know if the device is contaminated.
The most common tips of cell phone malware are those who install apps, extract money, and show advertising all the time.
So, whenever any of these symptoms are seen, the user can deduce that the device has a virus.
However, a virus can also cause abnormal data and storage consumption, unusual sent messages, slow performance, battery life consumption.
How To Prevent Viruses On Cell Phones?
The first step is to always have an antivirus installed on all devices, mobiles, or computers.
Malware can get into a phone through malicious links, messages, and infected files, and now, there are even a few types of computer viruses that run on mobile devices.
Because of that, it is important to keep all the devices clean and protected.
However, it is always recommended to not open external links, download apps and programs shown in pop-up ads, interact with non-register numbers (and block them instantly).
It’s also recommended to check every download file, use a cloud checker, and do not connect the cell phone to unknown wi-fi, hotspots, and other devices.
Hackers are constantly actualizing their “weapons”, mobile devices, and cell phones are also vulnerable to their attacks. Keeping a device safe and sound is never an exaggeration when identity and personal information are in danger. Nowadays, having an antivirus installed in a cell phone can be considered a must or need.