The Three Most Common Internet Viruses

A computer can obtain a virus, malware, or spyware without their owner even realizing it. Sometimes, the simple act of visiting a website is enough to contract a virus while in other cases internet users unwittingly download viruses by clicking false links that install the bad code. In order to protect your PC, internet users need to understand the most common threats.

That’s why, we have created an infographic that will show you three of the most common Internet viruses so you know how to detect them before it gets bad. (Read in our blog: Internet Viruses: A Preventable Threat)

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Be Suspicious with App Permissions

A few weeks ago I went camping in the woods with my husband, we were surrounded by the peace and beauty of old trees and amazing landscapes. However, as any person who has camped knows, the nights, though starry and calming, can also be intimidating in the silence and darkness of the wildness.

In that opportunity, we brought everything we needed for our experience in nature: tent, sleeping bag and even food containers to prevent bears from getting into our supply. However, we failed to bring a flashlight, so we pulled out our mobile devices and downloaded one from the app store.

Being in nature, away from rush hour and a busy work schedule, we actually had the time to think about the permissions some apps require. While I understand every app needs some kind of permissions to do its job, I realized when taking the time to actually pay attention to these permissions that some are over the top and questionable.

In our case, we needed a simple flashlight for our dark night in the woods and it should only need access to the camera in order to turn the flash on. At first we were surprise to find out that some developers in the app store were asking for access to my contacts, ID & call information, photos/media/files, Wi-Fi information, amongst other things, all this for a flashlight?

At this point, I realized that if I was in the middle of a hectic day or stuck in rush hour, I would have hit the Accept button to all kinds of nonsensical app permissions thus potentially allowing malware to infect my device.

Nature has the capability to clear our lungs from pollution and our minds from vain distractions and thanks to that I learned that the best protection and security is grated first by everyone’s common sense and attention. So, be aware.

Ransomware Alert: Mobile Phone Abduction

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Hollywood has a history of obsession with the thriller and horror movies based on kidnappings. A common plot line is for a crime syndicate to abduct a person and then demand a large amount of money for their return. Such schemes rarely work in the movies, they are constantly thwarted by an A-list hero, but hackers have taken the idea of abduction and applied it to their malware with greater success.
Ransomware is a specific type of malware that locks a user out of their phone and demands a monetary payment in order for the user to regain access. The practice started on Windows computers, but in recent years cybercriminals have begun to target mobile phones. Spurred by success, the rate of Ransomware infections is increasing and as long as the trap is profitable, Ransomware will never go away.

How Ransomware Works

Although Ransomware is a relatively new type of malware, the delivery of the malicious files relies largely on well established means. Ransomware is typically disguised as a Trojan and gains access to a system when they are accidently downloaded. On mobile devices, the most common hiding place for Ransomware is in apps. In the past, video player apps, adult entertainment apps, and software updates have all played cover for Ransomware while the bad program delivers the payload.
In terms of malware, the payload is the code that infects the device and performs the harmful action. Ransomware locks a user out of their own phone and there are three primary ways it does this.

Protection agains ransomware

1. Fake Police Alerts – A warning page appears on the screen and locks itself, explaining that the authorities (FBI, Department of Defense, Cyber Crime Center, etc.) have discovered illegal activities on the phone.

2. Lock Screen – The Ransomware infiltrates the phone’s lock screen, and appoints itself or trick the user into making it the device administrator. Then the malware prevents the user from using the phone until payment is made.

3. File Encryption – Data is scrambled and people receive a ransom note saying, “Your phone has been encrypted. Pay $300 to us and we will give you the key.”

Payloads vary slightly, but in all cases Ransomware leverages a person’s data against them and demands money, usually between $200 and $500. Some of the most successful Ransomware have stolen millions of dollars and they include the programs Koler, Simplelocker, and CryptoLocker among many others.

What to Do if You Are Victimized

First of all, because Ransomware is not in the Google Play Store, phones must be set to “allow apps from unknown sources” for Ransomware to be downloaded. However, people approve apps for download all the time, and if you are infected with Ransomware, removal is difficult but possible. Here are the options:

1. Pay the Ransom – Obvious but not a favorable choice

2. Factory Reboot – Complete restart that results in a loss of all data and photos

3. Enter “Safe Mode,” Remove Ransomware as Device Administrator, Uninstall Ransomware

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How to Prevent Ransomware

The best defense against Ransomware and other form of malware is to prevent them from ever accessing your phone. One way to protect your phone is to install an antivirus app that has the ability to scan files in real time. This means that apps, websites, and zip files will be checked out before they are downloaded, and if malware is detected, then you will be alerted. No coincidently, Android Security Suite is designed to do just that; vet everything for malicious software before it becomes an issue. With Android Security Suite on your phone, you don’t have to worry about Ransomware, I guess you could say we are the preemptive hero of your personal hostage film.

Internet Viruses: A Preventable Threat

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Computer viruses are nasty agents that can compromise personal information, cost a lot of money, and ruin machines.


Cough, cough. It isn’t flu season yet, but winter is just around the corner. Viruses such as the flu become more common during winter months because people spend more time indoors which makes the transfer of nasty bugs easier. Unfortunately, when it comes to computers, viruses are always in season and the internet is a hotbed of infection.
The scary truth is that a computer can obtain a virus, malware, or spyware without their owner even realizing it. Sometimes, the simple act of visiting a website is enough to contract a virus while in other cases internet users unwittingly download viruses by clicking false links that install the bad code. Computer viruses are nasty agents that can compromise personal information, cost a lot of money, and ruin machines. In order to protect your PC, internet users need to understand the most common threats, how to detect them, and, most importantly, how to avoid them.

How Can I Get a Virus From a Website?

The computer science behind a virus is actually quite simple. A virus is a piece of code or a program that can copy itself and runs without approval from the computer owner. There are dozens of different ways that you can get a virus from a website, some of the usual suspects are e-mail scams, torrent sharing, and video downloads.
When you visit a website, your web browser automatically reads, interprets, and displays the content for you. Unfortunately, there are deficiencies in all programs, including web browsers called “exploits.” These exploits are targeted by hackers as easy ways to spread their evil creations. That is how a computer can become infected without a person doing anything. Just by doing its job, a web browser can expose a computer to a virus.
Beyond automatic infection, viruses can be hidden within other files or disguised as other programs entirely. Torrent sites, which are popular for sharing pirated video and audio files, are a very high risk environment because they are not moderated. Anyone can upload files for download, including hackers.
Similar tactics are used to disguise viruses in other files. Pop-up ads, fake security breach warnings, and software updates are all common hiding places for malware. Watching pornography is another famous threat to computer integrity but is safe compared to the torrent sites. Many porn websites, like it or not, are businesses with an interest in maintaining a safe website, and therefore screen their files for viruses.

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Never download something that you do not trust, never download something that you have not read, and try to avoid threatening websites.

What Kinds of Viruses Are Common?

There are as many different types of viruses as there are routes to infection, but the three most common are called Trojans, botnets, and fake anti-virus software known as “scareware.”

Trojans – These are programs that take their name from the Trojan horse and are anything that is disguised to be something else. Download a Trojan and it will download its accompanying virus to your computer.

Botnets – A botnet is a network of infected PC’s that hackers use for a variety of evil tasks. Most recognizably, botnets are responsible for the majority of spam e-mails which are used by fraudsters to phish for personal information.

Scareware – A pop-up appears on your computer screen: WARNING! Your computer is infected. Download this program now to “protect” yourself. If you click on the pop-up your computer most certainly will become infected.

What Can I Do To Protect Myself?

The number one way that computer users can protect themselves is with common sense and awareness. Never download something that you do not trust, never download something that you have not read, and try to avoid threatening websites.
Besides policing your online behavior, antivirus software can remove existing viruses and help to detect online threats in the future. Another step that internet users can take is keeping software up to date. Most software updates are released to increase security and reduce vulnerability by closing exploits.

The bad news is that viruses are everywhere on the web. The good news is that they can, in large part, be prevented. Take care to protect yourself by updating software and browsing responsibly, it’s Vitamin-C for your computer.

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The State of the Art Scanning Engine that Bulldozes Mobile Malware

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Studies have shown that at least 16 million mobile devices were infected with malware in 2014, and the numbers are only growing. Banking information, contacts and passwords are the main targets that hackers are willing to exploit without mobile users’ knowledge. The need for reliable antimalware software is imperative to protect mobile users data and block malware from getting onto the devices.

Viruses and other threats can get into your device via downloads, videos, webpages or apps. Few antimalware applications will detect them. When downloading an antimalware/antivirus for Android devices, make sure it breaks apart your apps, files and zip files to scan for possible threats. Also, look for the ones that have the capability of scanning for both Android and Windows viruses in order to prevent spreading infected files from your Android device to your home computer.

One app that does it all is Android Security Suite, its state of the art scanning engine will protect your passwords, identity, bank account info and other personal data on your Android devices. Protect your device today with reliable, free software you can trust.

Android Security Suite Presents…

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Real Time Protection

Comprehensive security that covers every move made on your device!

Real Time Protection means that your security is always being monitored. Thwart malicious activity the moment you become vulnerable. Our world-class technology was designed to stop problems before they start.

By monitoring your device with Real Time Protection, our app keeps you safe around the clock. Only one app delivers the comprehensive monitoring security needed to safeguard your Android devices 24/7.

With a three-pronged approach, our comprehensive security app keeps all of your valuable information safe from malicious activity.

1. App protection: Anytime you download, update, or modify an app on your Android device, your app is scanned for potential security breaches.

2. File protection: Android Security Suite is one of the only antivirus and anti-malware apps in the industry to scan files when they are created and modified. Real Time Protection goes a step further to break down Zip files to detect malware that exists within. Files on both your internal and SD card memory are covered by Real Time Protection.

3. Browsing protection: Android Security Suite protects you while you surf the web. Real Time Protection means that you are covered, even when you’re browsing. Malware can easily infect your Android device’s browser, but Real Time Protection easily detects websites that are embedded with viruses and malware.

Real Time Protection from Android Security Suite does it all. Download Android Security Suite today.

Android Has Stagefright and Your Device Probably Does Too

Android bug stagefright

Android Security Suite Stagefright Detector

Learn all about the Android security bug known as “Stagefright”. What it is, how to know if you have it, and how to protect your device.

What’s more shocking? That 75% of people are afraid to speak in front of a crowd or that 95% of all Android devices are vulnerable to malicious attack? Probably depends on the type of smartphone you own.
In total, 900 million Android devices released over the last five years have a defect in their operating system nicknamed “Stagefright.” So far, the Stagefright vulnerability has not been exploited by hackers, but it still remains a problem with the potential to cause widespread mayhem. Here is what Android owners need to know about Stagefright, how to tell if your device has Stagefright, and what you can do to protect yourself from attack.

What is “Stagefright”?

“Stagefright” refers to a software bug within a native Android video player called Stagefright, hence the name. Theoretically, the bug could be used by a hacker to steal private information from an Android device by sending a text message with a worm embedded in a video file. There are two different ways that a vulnerable phone can be attacked through this bug: 1) via text message with embedded video files or 2) by viewing web videos.

1. Most messaging apps like Google Hangouts and the default Android messaging app automatically download received video messages so that the videos are ready to view immediately when the user opens them. Once inside of a phone, that phone could be used to send the worm onto the phone’s contacts, further spreading the problem.

2. In similar fashion, viewing a video on the internet could leave a compromised phone at risk. A video file with a worm could exploit the Stagefright vulnerability through your web browsing app because Android uses the same Stagefright mechanism to process online videos.

The scary thing is that in both cases a phone can be breached remotely and secretively, without the owner even knowing.

Where Did Stagefright Come From?

Joshua Drake of Zimperium cyber-security originally found the Stagefight exploit in April 2015. He gave his findings to Google and the company made revisions to their code to fix the problem. However, more bugs were found and on July 27th the Stagefright bug was publically disclosed.

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Will it be Patched?

Since the announcement, Android device manufacturers have been working on updates to patch the issue. However, these updates require the cooperation of Google (developers of Android), manufacturers who make the devices (Samsung, Sony, LG, etc.) and the mobile carriers who serve the devices (Sprint, T-mobile, AT&T, etc). All the red tape has made Android security updates particularly sluggish and in most cases, non-existent.

How Can I Tell If My Device Has Stagefright?

If you are an Android user, the numbers are not in your favor. 900 million or, 95% of worldwide Android devices contain the Stagefright bug in their OS. The chances are good that if you are running Froyo 2.2, Lollipop 5.1.1, or anything in between you are at risk of attack.
To be sure, there are multiple Stagefright detection apps that can be used to see if a phone does indeed have “Stagefright.” They are:

Android Security Suite Stagefright detector
The Zimperium Stagefright Detector and
The Lookout Mobile Stagefright Detector

How to Protect Yourself

The news isn’t all bad when it comes to Stagefright. According to Adrian Ludwig, the head of Android security, “90 percent of Android devices have a technology called ASLR enabled, which protects users from the issue.” (ASLR is a security measure that makes hacking more difficult by randomizing information.)
Anyone with a compromised device can take steps to protect themselves from infection. The best way to do so is by disabling the auto-download function of your text messaging apps. In most messaging apps, the basic steps are to: Open the app, tap the main menu, select settings, go to SMS or MMS, and deselect the automatic download function.
In any case, never open a video message from an unknown number and be wary of suspicious messages from friend’s phones. Hopefully, the bug will be resolved before a catastrophe, but you never know. Stagefright isn’t limited to humans anymore. Your Android probably has it.

The Hidden Threats in Our Apps: Are Smartphones Safe from Viruses and Malware? Probably Not.

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Since smartphones first burst onto the scene and starting gathering steam, very few owners have thought seriously about the viruses and malware that might be lurking in their phone’s operating system. Pre-smartphone, a phone was just a phone, incapable of being overtaken by malware and not really a serious target, since little to no data was stored on the device. Today’s smartphones are, however, more like computers than they are like the first generation of flip phones we all once had.

As users continue to rely more and more on their mobile devices (and less and less on laptops and computers), these smartphones are becoming bigger targets for hackers. It’s a common misconception that antivirus for Android operating systems does more harm than good. It’s true, these programs used to be clunky, battery-sucking nightmares. Today’s mobile antivirus is streamlined. But is it even necessary?

In the most recent Internet Security Report, put together by Symantec, it is reported that there are more than a million apps that are classified as malware available on the market right now. In 2014 alone, forty-six new families of malware just for Android were introduced. Without some kind of antivirus for Android, most users will be completely open to nasty malware.

As hackers are becoming more aggressive, users are becoming more flippant. All smartphone operating systems now have an app where you can store credit card, password, and personal information for easy use for online and in-app purchases. Shopping on mobile devices is becoming more and more popular, which means more and more users are entering their payment information into their mobile phones. This is all information that an aggressive malware app can scrape out of the phone and send back to its designers.

What is malware and why should we fear it? According to that same Symantec report, malware is any program designed to do harm. It covers viruses, Trojans, and worms—all of which can be blocked with the use of an antivirus app. Aside from these commonly known types of malware, there are more and more threats being introduced by malicious programs every year. One of the newest families includes Grayware, which are programs that do not contain viruses but are classified as annoying or harmful by the users. Dialers, adware, and joke programs all fall into this category.

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Example of Madware in you device.

Another new category is Madware, which involves using aggressive programming to imbed advertising in the photos and calendars on your phone. These programs can also send push notifications to your phone and may even replace an existing ringtone with an advertisement. While not always damaging, both Grayware and Madware have the potential to be used by malicious programmers to scrape data from your phone and are, in and of themselves, annoying. If you’ve experienced either of these two new families of malware, you know that they can make your phone just as unusable as a piece of programming intentionally designed to harm your phone.

How do you identify these types of malware? Look for the following signs on your mobile device:

Send content – These programs will often utilize spam, premium SMS, and black hat SEO techniques to encourage you to send their content to your device.

Adware/Annoyance – Threats like these will use annoying popups and will send unwanted push notifications to your phone in an attempt to get you to click on their link, either for advertising or malicious purposes.

Reconfigure device – Many threats will automatically change your user settings in order to give themselves greater access to your data. Watch out for programs that ask for access to these types of settings.

More traditional threats – There are now downloaders, Trojans, Hack tools, and DDoS utilities made specifically to target you mobile device and the data it contains. These will often trigger a security alert.

Steal information – Any program that steals your data, from your media files to passwords to banking information is a malicious program that you do not want on your device

Track user – Many types of malware will track users’ locations.

Most mobile users walk a thin line. They want to keep their data safe, but they also want to have access to fun apps. Most people are more than willing to allow an app that they really want to have access to their personal information, especially if that app is free. That Symantec report found that most users think they know what they are agreeing to when they download an app, but that few really understand even the most basic app permission policies or how apps behave—more than 50% didn’t realize that apps can track their location in real time.

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Android Security Suite, advanced anti-malware app for Android devices

It’s important to pay attention to your device, listen to what it is telling you, and to take action when you notice a pattern. It is more important now than ever to have the right antivirus for Android, to protect your device in real time and prevent apps, mobile websites, and files from harming you or your device.

The Dark Side of Social Media

Our brains are hard-wired to believe. We take in information literally and then evaluate it against our knowledge to decide whether or not it is true. For a moment, no matter how brief, humans will believe anything that they are told. This belief is compounded if the source of the information is someone that we know, trust, or respect.

Consider the famous Nigerian Prince Scam, a simple, fraudulent e-mail that promises a future cash reward in exchange for a small advance payment. Of course, the scam is ridiculous but, according to historians a version of the scam has been used by con artists for over 200 years. Now, social media has opened up a whole new industry for cyber-criminals and while e-mail spam is decreasing in frequency, social media is ripe with scammers looking to make a quick buck.

Social Media Affiliate Programs

social media scams

Through affiliate programs, scammers can trick you into participating in a survey and/or signing up for a premium service. In this way, scammers collect your info and make money.

All scams have one thing in common, the goal is to make money and social media scams are no different. Most commonly, social media fraudsters monetize their efforts through participation in affiliate programs. These are incentive programs in which companies pay “affiliates” for driving traffic to their website. For instance, some unsuspecting person sees an ad for a free $1,000 gift card if they will only enter their e-mail address. When they enter their e-mail address and click submit, they have earned a referral fee for a criminal. They will never see the gift card because it never existed. It was only a ploy to get personal information.

Common Social Media Scams

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all other social media platforms have changed the way people interact socially and professionally. We crave likes, comments, and re-tweets like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream. We are able to follow our best friends and favorite celebrities and interact with them on a daily basis. All of these benefits are noticed by scammers who use them to their advantage when designing their schemes.

Facebook scam

Manual sharing plots are the most common and rely on social media users to spread. Usually, scammers will embed links to an affiliate site or malware inside of videos, pictures, or fake offers meant to entice people into unknowingly sharing the links with their friends. Fake offering scams are related and request social media users to join fake groups or events and share personal information in exchange for a free gift. Together, manual sharing and fake offering scams made up 93% of social media threats.

Phishing

Another type of cyber-fraud, phishing is the collection of personal information for the purposes of moneymaking. In regards to social media, phishing links are almost always hidden behind a hook (pun intended) such as a shocking news story or outlandish celebrity scandal. Once a user clicks on the link, they will be taken to a phishing site where they will be asked to login before they can proceed. Criminals will take the login information and hack other accounts for which the user has the same password (Apple ID, Bank Accounts, E-mail, Cloud Storage, etc.)

What is phishing

How to Protect Yourself

Knowledge and preparation are the two most important defenses against social media scams. While on social media, watch out for sensationalized stories, wild celebrity news, and offers for free money. Instead of clicking on links within social media, search for the stories on reputable news sites to see if they are legitimate. Also, never fill out a form unless you are certain the transaction is secure. Cyber-criminals are very creative and can use just about any personal information against you to make money for themselves.

Android Antivirus

Android Security Suite

In terms of preparation, one of the best investments a social media user can make is an antivirus app that can recognize threats. Apps like Android Security Suite that offers 24/7 real-time protection provides the most comprehensive protection and download directly to your device. Good antimalware will scan and detect malicious websites, phishing sites, and viruses to protect your device and your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

How to remove malware and viruses from Android devices (Video)

Remove malware and virus from Android

There’s a misconception that Android devices cannot get malware but the reality is that there are more than 1 million apps infected with malicious code.

According to the 2015 Internet Security Threat Report conducted by Symantec, cybercriminals are developing new variants of malware that can surpass security policies and restrictions, hence getting to our devices through innocent looking games and apps.

Many of us are unaware of the consequences of having malware in our devices and the personal data hackers chase, which in most cases are bank account details and user ID’s. Furthermore, fake versions of banking and other well-known apps can deceive us in an attempt to collect our bank account details.

This is why, if your device starts acting strangely, slowing down or bombards you with advertising; you should get an antivirus app for Android capable enough to scan files and apps and find the source of the problem.

In the following video, we will tell you what hackers are capable of and how to remove malware from Android devices so you can take action and fight cybercriminals.

To get the most advanced anti-malware and Antivirus protection for Android go to Android Security Suite

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