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11/29/2013
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Android Security: 8 Signs Hackers Own Your Smartphone

Security experts share tips on how to tell if attackers are in control of your Android smartphone.
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Searching for signs of Android infection

Image (derived) courtesy of Flickr user .RGB..
Image (derived) courtesy of Flickr user .RGB..

How can you tell if your Android smartphone or tablet been pwned?

That was the question recently posed by one InformationWeek reader, who suspected that her phone had been compromised by attackers. "I've only owned my Droid phone for two months and had a Trojan horse panic attack, and wiped my phone," she said via email.

Can you tell by observation alone if your Android device has been infected with malware? On Windows PCs, for example, some types of infections leave no signs at all. Conversely, some virus, malware, and Trojan infections -- as well as adware and spyware -- may slow systems to a crawl, begin redirecting browsers to arbitrary websites or search engines, trigger pop-up ads, block access to information security websites, disable security software, alter the user interface, or email everyone in your address book, leading to a flurry of outraged emails, bounce-backs, and warnings from recipients. 

As with some Windows infections, some types of Android malware might sport telltale signs of infection. For example, the reader -- who asked not to be named -- said she became concerned when a text message preview appeared on her lock screen, then mysteriously disappeared and couldn't be found. Perhaps not coincidentally, she'd also recently installed an app -- but not from the official Google Play store.

"What happened was I downloaded an app from a non-Play store site -- against my better judgment. Then not too long after I was looking at some article about security issues, and I had something really bizarro happen," she said. "A text notification with a partial preview flashed in my notifications bar and then vanished -- from a number not in my contacts. ... I went into my text messages app to try and read the full message, and it wasn't there. At that point I panicked and was convinced my phone must be hijacked -- even though nothing else seemed amiss -- and just wiped it." 

But was her phone infected? And if it was, how might other Android users spot a malware attack? Recent versions of the Android operating system, as well as mobile antivirus software, can help spot and block malware-infection attempts. But neither approach is infallible. So no matter which security tools you might be using, be sure also watch for the following telltale warning signs:

 

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RaimeV632
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RaimeV632,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/14/2016 | 12:08:34 PM
Boyfriends phone hack
Ok so my boyfriend had his phone hacked I'm pretty sure due to him receiving notifications on lock screen but then nothing being there and his phone being really really slow. And battery low all the time. But not only that when he was pushing a button in chrome it copied something and he pasted into a file or something and his phone started copying when hurting a button. When he would paste it random things would appear. He is thinking that everything that was pasted was pics and message clips off his phone. But I am thinking these items were never from his phone. Would you know and what does he do about this hack?
AnthonyT219
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AnthonyT219,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/1/2016 | 6:12:08 PM
pc malware and trojans
Hi everyone, My PC has gotten malware and trojans on it that my virus software is not detecting and wiping out, Is there software on the market that may be able to find and wipe it off my PC? Oh and is Titanium backup for pc's too?
AnthonyT219
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AnthonyT219,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/1/2016 | 6:03:30 PM
Re: The Benefits of Rooting-
Hi is Titanium Backup for pc's too? Cause my pc with Windows 10 has gotten malware and probably trojans that none of my software is finding, and i need to back up certain files before having a computer tech clean up my pc and reinstall Windows 10, unless there is great software i can buy to find thealware and trojans and wipe them off my pc, please help.
AnthonyT219
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AnthonyT219,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/1/2016 | 5:46:59 PM
Re: secure android mobiles
Lookout is also a pretty good app too, you can even log onto it from a pc or anyother web capable device to know where your phone is if it gets stolen, and i also suggest locking the screen with either a passcode or the pattern lock.
AliciaT583
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AliciaT583,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/29/2016 | 3:28:55 PM
no longer in control of my own phone
Your article is so my situation atm. My partner is a victim of fraud,(online purchase) leaving e-bay (the add site) & dealing with seller via e-mail, opened the porthole, 1of the 1st emails flashed an R rated pic of my partner of course we couldn't find it. Worried we used mine. I then installed an app from Google play, to help sort my "phone's issues" im not a tech savvy person. From then on it got worse. My phone became rooted, csc files were modified & my phone controlled by? I have that green man, he controls all my apps wifi email F/B. So factory reset 4 me. It took me 2yrs to "get with the times" & enjoy my Samsung & not hate technology, I have all information written down on good old paper. I will get re-connect my smartphone life but I will be smarter in my protection. This incident has devastated me, I want to track this down & stop it. I am posting my story everywere!!
LTCassity
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LTCassity,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/19/2016 | 2:56:49 PM
Re: Good Advice from Mathew J. Schwartz
I have a android phone and have a hacker which has control of my fb and email accounts. every time I make a new account in either place they change the pasword so I cannot re-enter. I believe that they have my IP address and I am getting a new phone which I hope helps. any good advice guys.
LiveMsic
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LiveMsic,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/14/2015 | 7:50:33 PM
Re: Good Advice from Mathew J. Schwartz
The answer is, of course it is.
DennisC_VA
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DennisC_VA,
User Rank: Strategist
3/9/2015 | 5:03:25 PM
Good Advice from Mathew J. Schwartz
Beyond my earlier comment directed towards the other commenter and their issue involving text messages, I enjoyed reading this article and found Mathew's advice really solid.  After working in various support capacities for the past nineteen years, I have seen both "average" users with normal issues and "extreme" users with 'You did what?!?' issues.  If we can compare our Smartphones to our cars for a moment, the idea "hacking" the engine control module on a car sounds pretty intimidating to most people - sure, MAYBE it is possible to improve the mileage a little, but what is being risked in the process?  Also, if you return to the dealer or even a neighborhood auto mechanic with a car that has been "modified", do not be surprised when they refuse to work on it!  Similarly, is the cellphone carrier going to adopt a similar position IF something does not go smoothly with an altered Smartphone device?  There is risk and liability in everything we do, whether with our computers, Smartphones, other Internet-capable devices or even our cars; so it is really worth considering the true risks of having "fun" with Rooting a device versus the ultimate cost down the road.
DennisC_VA
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DennisC_VA,
User Rank: Strategist
3/9/2015 | 4:24:54 PM
Re: Specific texts were deleted from my phone.
It may be impossible to know for certain whether the phone's Operating System or Messaging capability has been compromised, and the longer you wait the more "damage" may be done.  If you think the phone is behaving in a manner inconsistent with its original 'Out-of-the-Box' (fresh from the store) behavior, I recommend performing the Factory Reset.  Only the user themselves can determine whether the value of past incriminating "evidence" is worth retaining versus the potential for future harm being done by an unauthorized person again using a compromised device.  This is pretty new territory for users of these devices and I suspect there are issues which may quickly exceed the major carriers' Technical Support services abilities.  Yes, they can take a report of suspicious behavor BY the device, but ultimately they are likely to instruct on performing the Factory Reset as a solution; it is simply the most effective way to deal with unknowns.  **NOTE: To preserve legally incriminating data on a Smartphone device, I think it would have to be powered off, have the battery removed and even go so far as to place it in a electromagnetically shielded pouch IF there is really "bad" stuff on it. **
GerardoF416
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GerardoF416,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2015 | 2:51:10 PM
I ben hack
I, ben hack I,m 100% I,no my phone is goin crazy whit my. Maseges voiz recordin I, do not what To do can enibati heelp
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
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