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Help Malware concerns...

garybeck

Android Enthusiast
Apr 19, 2011
321
17
I just turned on my Optimus and got a popup reminding me that it is prone to attacks and I am responsible for protecting my phone.

After wrestling with several viruses on my desktop lately, I'm wondering, how concerned do I need to be about my Optimus? Are there anti-virus apps I should be installing? Are the apps on marketplace tested? Is there an easy way to back up my data so if I have a problem I can restore to factory settings and reinstall my apps?
 
As said, lookout is good but only for downloaded apps. If you use common sense before you download, it is not needed.

You mentioned desktop viruses so I will say this: viruses via browsing will become more of a risk as time goes on and android phones make up a larger and larger percentage of phones in the wild. What it really comes down to is youre behavior online. You see, desktop antivirus programs are not constrained by power so they run all the time. This is why they are effective. An AV for a phone will not be running all the time because of battery drain.
 
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I just turned on my Optimus and got a popup reminding me that it is prone to attacks and I am responsible for protecting my phone.

After wrestling with several viruses on my desktop lately, I'm wondering, how concerned do I need to be about my Optimus? Are there anti-virus apps I should be installing? Are the apps on marketplace tested? Is there an easy way to back up my data so if I have a problem I can restore to factory settings and reinstall my apps?

Tell us more about this popup, I haven't heard of it before. Was it a notification box? An email? A user prompt window (with button(s))? Have you already installed some form of antivirus?
 
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Apps from the official market are no more tested than those from the Amazon store, which is to say a brief technical test just to see if they really run...

Also one of the batches of malware infected apps actually were also available from the official market to add insult to injury. (They were removed once it was determined that they had malware payloads...)

There are multiple security problem within the Android OS itself which is why they're suddenly pushing device mfgs to actually update their products more frequently and rapidly.

So I just don't put anything of much value on the phone ATM. No CC info, no passwords, etc. Things pretty much a sieve ATM.

Lookout is probably fine, but I use AVG myself...
 
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Rooted phones can actually be better defense than unrooted phones. First if you are rooted and running the superuser whitelist app then any app that wants to use su, the elevated permissions, you will have to authorize when it pops up asking for permissions. Second, running adfree android or modifying the hosts file will help to keep your personal info secure. How is that you ask? Because apps send data from your phone to ad servers and that is how they determine what ads to push to your phone. Many app developers don't know what data is being sent because they just add the ad company's portion of the app in and submit it. As long as they get the ad revenue they won't be looking into it unless a problem arises. This is what got Pandora into so much trouble recently. As I said in another thread, Pandora was sending so much data from your phone that the ad agency could piece it back together and determine who you were.

edit:
Forgot to finish my line of thought. lol. Anyway, using adblock or another hosts file ip blocking scheme keeps apps from being able to send your data to known ad agency addresses.
 
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If people used common sense most people would never get a virus or other malware.
Ah, but not necessarily, esp in the case of the malware based apps. Some of them actually had useful functionality in addition to the malware as they were apparently hacked/rebuilt versions of other apps in most case and I even actually considered one of them fortunately the malware discovery was made before I did anything though...

OTOH it did get me to try AVG on my tablets, but I eventually uninstalled it on those as like the phone I really don't keep anything valuable on them.

I probably will be trying other antivirus sw as I've noticed decreased batt life since installing AVG, but I've also used GPS and WiFi heavily since then as well which may partially explain it. Today I'm planning on restricting usage to 3G/voice only and see how that goes... (AVG is at it's default settings ATM, so it's pretty much just screening messages and app installation and set to check for updates only once/week so I don't think that it's doing anything to really drive up system usage unless it has a bug. Also forgot to check the onboard battery usage and via utils before charging again...)

[EDIT]
Oh and look what turned up on /. yesterday:
http://ask.slashdot.org/story/11/05/20/188228/Ask-Slashdot-Android-Security-Practices
[/EDIT]
 
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Ah, but not necessarily, esp in the case of the malware based apps. Some of them actually had useful functionality in addition to the malware as they were apparently hacked/rebuilt versions of other apps in most case and I even actually considered one of them fortunately the malware discovery was made before I did anything though...
My comment was directed at general computer use, not just android phones.
 
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Well, I did uninstall AVG as in addition to the battery drain it started behaving oddly(VERY slow to respond) so I uninstalled it... briefly had that 50% time w/o signal after reboot... so rebooted again and that seemed to have done the trick.

I'm now trying lookout as they specifically mention limited battery drain v. other antivirus products... I'm still not sure about batt drain but I'll keep it to 3g/voice again today...
 
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