Experts noted that most often smartphone owners are inattentive and infect their devices with spyware. Such programs can collect personal data and place it in the public domain, listen to conversations, and monitor the actions of the owner.
Sergey Nikitin, Deputy of the Group-IB Computer Forensics Laboratory, said that more than 90 percent of cases are not vulnerabilities, but user actions. According to him, the main source of infection is applications downloaded through the browser.
“The search engine, first, gives not an official site, but contextual advertising. Often, scammers buy it, and by clicking on the link from your phone, you download a malicious APK file,” said Nikitin.
Nikitin gave an example of the GetContact app, which shows how a person is named in his friends’ contact list. According to him, the user provides access to contacts that can leak to the network. He noted that such cases have already occurred. The expert advised not to download applications for remote management, for tracking the user. According to him, it is also not necessary to download the first available antivirus from the search engine, since an unknown program may be a program with a Trojan virus.
Kaspersky Lab expert Viktor Chebyshev also said that popular apps can be malicious. According to him, hackers often fake malicious programs for popular applications. “For example, we recently discovered more than a thousand malware that pretended to be a popular dating application. In General, in 2019, most often Trojans pretended to be photo-processing applications,” informed Chebyshev.
Another loophole for fraudsters is called remote control applications that allow to see the device’s screen.
“An attacker can ask you to install the program and then conduct a financial transaction on your behalf. Many banks now show a one-time code in push notifications, so it is not a problem to see it on the screen,” said the representative of Group-IB.
Experts also added that fake apps can be found even in official stores. You should be wary if the application requests administrative functions.