Malware hiding inside fake versions of a popular Android app again underscore that you need to be vigilant when it comes to what you install on your smartphone.
Web security firm Sophos recently found infected versions of “Angry Birds Space” in unofficial Android app stores. While the version of the game in the official Google Play market are not affected, if you happen to install the game from a different app store you could get infected with a Trojan.
The malware, which Sophos identified as one called “Andr/KongFu-L,” looks and acts just like the real version of the game except it’s hiding malicious code. Once the Trojan is loaded onto your phone it communicates with a nefarious website so as to install even more malware on your phone. If that happens your Android phone would then be part of a botnet that’s under the control of criminal hackers.
Don’t fall for it. In fact, if you’re smart you’ll only install apps you find on Google Play, and even then there’s a chance the apps you download could be up to no good. That’s because Google’s marketplace is more open than iOS and as such, it’s easier for bad guys to distribute their virus laden apps there.
That’s not to say you can’t use Google Play safely.
For one thing, always check how other users have rated an app. If it only has one or two stars, don’t touch it. Android users are quick to point out apps that they don’t like or don’t find useful. So if an app you want to download isn’t rated well you can most likely trust that it’s not a good app.
And always make sure you have security software downloaded onto your phone. There are several good mobile security options that can keep your smartphone free from viruses.