While most apps on the market are legitimate, mobile devices have become a targeted platform for malware. It’s becoming more and more common for cybercriminals to corrupt a legitimate app with hidden malicious functionality. These illegitimate and compromised mobile apps are designed to steal information from smartphones, or to send out expensive text messages without a user’s consent. Dangerous apps are usually offered for free and masquerade as fun applications such as games, calendar and comedy apps. Another nasty trick is to pull a legitimate app off of one marketplace, insert malware into it and then re-publish it on other marketplaces or sites with a similar name.
Today, McAfee released some common-sense practices that anyone can take to help protect their smartphones and tablets from the growing threat of malware and the persistent threat of unsecured devices.
One way to find out if your device has been infected by a bad app is to keep an eye on your wireless bill. Some rogue apps do things like make expensive calls to foreign numbers to fatten the bank account of various intermediary sites at your expense. Often the calls happen in the background or at times when you don’t realize your phone is doing something. Even if you haven’t been infected, you may have unwittingly subscribed to one of those annoying services that automatically bill you every month for things like ring tones, so check the bill every month; it only takes a few minutes.
McAfee can help users protect their mobile device and the mobile apps that reside on the device with McAfee Mobile Security and McAfee App Alert (beta). To learn more about these solutions, visit http://www.mcafee.com/mobilesecurity/.