Applications: Experts do not leave us alone who are trying in every way to steal money from our accounts. This time their way? Applications on our mobile phones!
Google removes 8 apps from Google Play Store, which have been reported as malicious by TrendMicro. The reason is, for the apps that have been promoted in the Play Store as cryptocurrency mining apps that will help users to make profits by investing in cloud mining companies and the profits will be paid in cryptocurrency.
In short, none of the above apps did anything for the users.
Instead, once it was installed, they ran ads and tried to trick users into paying $15 per month for subscription services. These are the eight applications.
BitFunds – Crypto Cloud Mining
Bitcoin Miner – Cloud Mining
Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud’s Cloud Wallet
Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining
Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud-Based Mining System
MineBit Pro – Crypto Cloud Mining & btc miner
Ethereum (ETH) – cloud mining pool
Just because you remove these apps from the Play Store does not mean that you are safe if you have any of them installed on your device. However, several security companies report that there are a number of similar apps left in the Play Store.
Applications: Google is involved in a major scandal
At the same time, in the defendant’s chair is the giant Google, which, according to complaints, used mobile phone manufacturers to “bury” the application stores of other companies and only display them!
Epic’s lawsuit against Google, which the former accuses of monopolistic practices, reveals in the most remarkable way the extent to which Google is burying rival app stores on the Android platform.
According to official court documents, as of 2019, Google implemented the “Premier Device Program”, through which it gave Android makers a greater share of search profits, in return:
Do not install OEMs on third party app stores on their devices. More specifically, they had to follow a rule that prohibited apps with APK files installed.
According to the revealed reports, devices belonging to the Premier Device category, simply put, devices that followed these rules, will get a 12% share of Google search revenue compared to the 8% they normally earn.
Google made the deal more interesting, giving companies like LG and Motorola 3-6% of the money their users would spend on the Google Play Store on these devices.
We can all understand the consequences of such a practice.
Applications: Pegasus “sows” horror!
And if amateur hackers weren’t enough, then came the companies that targeted us, like the Israeli NSO group that made Pegasus.
According to experts in the field of information security, at least 50,000 devices have been infected worldwide.
This number does not seem very high, but Pegasus is very dangerous – it allows you to fully control the smartphone, secretly read mail, intercept phone conversations, access photos and videos.
Popular and well-known antivirus programs cannot detect Pegasus, as malware exploits vulnerabilities that are not known to developers of operating systems and antivirus applications.
AI has developed a tool that allows you to identify this malware.
It’s called MVT (Mobile Verification Toolkit) and its source code is available on GitHub.
The MVT utility is compatible with Android and iOS, but there are no easy solutions for quick installation of the application.
It needs to be compiled for each specific device, something that can only be done on a computer running Linux or macOS.
The utility backs up the data of the smartphone to the computer, erases all data and checks whether the device is infected with the Pegasus spyware, informing the user if the information from his device can be hacked and transferred to third parties.
This tool, in particular, clears transmission logs – there may be signs of infection (information about sending call logs, SMS, instant messages and other data to a remote server).
On iOS, these logs are stored longer than those on Android, which makes it much easier to detect Pegasus spyware on your iPhone. Due to the complexity of using MVT, this tool is only recommended for tech-savvy users or those suspected of being tracked through Pegasus.
Information security experts believe that these spyware are used for targeted surveillance.
It does not infect random devices, but only smartphones belonging to specific individuals whose activities concern those who control this program. Each Pegasus license costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the monitoring is mainly carried out by individuals who are a source of valuable information (for example, politicians, businessmen or media reporters).
Although the Pegasus case has made headlines lately, hundreds of other spy apps are still being used “silently” to spy on their victims. Many programs operate in a “gray” area where they are offered as parental control or other legal applications.
Be careful, practice good digital hygiene and keep yourself as safe as possible.
Applications: How do you know if they are monitoring your cell phone?
Any malware is basically an application that consumes resources from your device. This program consumes mobile data and battery, while burdening the mobile processor. All this can “show” to you that something fishy is happening to your device.
What should you do when you find out that you have been monitored?
First of all, you need to check all the applications installed on your mobile phone. Any applications you have not installed are suspicious.
A quick internet search can give you a lot of information about unknown apps on your device.
Once you find the application that contains the malware, you must delete it completely. It would be a good idea to proceed with a factory reset of the device, after saving as many files as you need first.
These are the three categories of apps to avoid:
- Weather apps: Malware and viruses are found in a very large percentage of weather apps. It is better to check the weather from your browser.
- Optimizers: These apps clear the cache and clear programs that you don’t use. However, most mobile phones already have this feature, so these apps are unnecessary and dangerous.
- Embedded browsers: These programs are usually slow, have no data protection, and reduce system performance.
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