Despite Google’s Security Measures, New Android Malware Can Sneak Into Your Device Via Facebook
The regularity in which malware manages to keep infiltrating Android devices is gradually becoming something of a spectator sport; that is, of course, unless you happen to use one yourself.
The report in November of Android malware increasing by 472% did nothing to aid the release of the then-new Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) OS, and was followed in January by the ‘Counterclank’ malware strain, which left millions of Droid users vulnerable to attack. Earlier this month, we reported on the RootSmart malware affecting up to ten thousand users daily – turning their devices into ‘zombie’ shells of their former selves.
It comes as little surprise, then, that despite the Big G having put a ‘Bouncer’ in place to keep the Android Market protected from malicious software, the spammers have remained undeterred – seeking other avenues in their quest to get on the last nerve of Android users.
The latest pathway explored comes in the form of Facebook – the world’s foremost social network. Those using the official Android Facebook app could encounter a malware app which operates under the guise of “any_name.apk.”
While the RootSmart bug was discovered by Symantec – the company behind the Norton Internet Security suite, the Any Name bug has been sourced by fellow security outfit Sophos, which stumbled across the malware after receiving a Facebook friend request. Sophos’ Vanja Svajcer then checked the newly-acquainted profile, only to find it contained a link which redirected the browser to a webpage before auto-downloading an unknown application without permission.
Although Android devices have an activated setting at stock level which prevents mobile apps from installing from anywhere except Android Market, most users turn it off, allowing apps from anywhere to be discovered and installed – a freedom seen by many Android users as an integral part of the experience.
Best way to avoid this latest malware wave? Simply ignore a friend request from somebody you don’t know – no matter how curious you may be (or indeed, how attractive they purport to look).
Remember, it only has to happen the once for you to find yourself infected..