Malicious Applications Posing as Trustworthy

Android differs from both iOS and Windows Phone in one crucial aspect and that is the freedom that comes with it. Users and developers have more freedom while using or designing apps for Android than they do in either one of the other operating systems. But unfortunately, that much freedom given to developers also opens many doors for hackers and cyber criminals.
A mobile security company by the name of Bluebox Labs recently detected a new sort of virus that has the ability to potentially take over your whole phone and all your sensitive information without you even noticing it. This ‘Fake ID’ malware makes Trojan apps seem as being published by trusted sources after which the cyber criminals can take control of all the information in your phone if they want.
How it Works
Hackers have designed the malware to make their harmful application to impersonate those that have been recognized as trusted ones. When these apps enter one’s phone, the Fake ID malware inserts codes into other applications which make their security mechanisms to fail, allowing the hackers to access all user data that a certain app contains.

  • The basic function of this virus is to make way for other sorts of threats that are designed to invade one’s personal information. In one scenario, this malware could bring in another Trojan horse into your phone which might be impersonating an app like Google Wallet, putting all your financial details in the hands of cyber criminals.
  • Android has an Identity Certificate Verification system through which your phone decides which apps have a valid certificate and which don’t. Fake ID exploits this and makes this system useless so that your phone can no longer identify which app has a trusted certificate. This allows hackers to forge certificates that make their apps seem like they have originated from a well-reputed publisher.
  • The problem further complicates itself due to the fact that Android allows one single application to be signed by multiple sources. What this means is that a hackers can sign one application under different fake identities so that it becomes virtually impossible to identify.

The Remedy by Google
Google claims that they have fixed the security loophole that caused the Fake ID to work. Bluebox engineers found that the malware existed in the Android ecosystem since 2010, from Android 2.1.
Google has put its users at peace by saying that they have issued a patch to fix the problem, but the users of Android 2.1 to 4.4 may still be affected by the virus. Google has also released a generic coding fix that will help solve the problem.
Protective Measures

  • First of all, install the Bluebox Security Scanner app by Bluebox and check whether your phone is exposed to the virus or not.
  • Ask your carrier for a fix to be sent to your phone.
  • Don’t keep sensitive information on your phone if you think your phone is susceptible to Fake ID. Remove all credit card information and other personal data such as saved passwords from your phone till you are sure that the issue has been resolved.
  • Employ tracking/monitoring applications, for instance, mSpy, that allows privacy, provides security and protection of confidential information on both mobile and desktop devices for home and business use. Moreover, this is a wonderful parental control app that can safeguard your kids against various online dangers.

 

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