Fake Virus Scanning Apps

With all the recent malware and ransomware attacks compromising hundreds of thousands of systems, the fear mongering of cyber news allowed another form of virus injection to expand. Trying to defend themselves from being attacked, people scramble to download antivirus apps to their phone. Interestingly enough, this spike in downloads is due to the WannaCry attacks, which doesn’t target mobile devices. 

The increase in downloads triggered the addition of antivirus apps on the stores, several of which are chock full of malware.  A cyber security firm, RiskIQ, scanned over apps in the stores with the keyword “antivirus”. Out of the 6,295 results, over 700 triggered red flags of the app containing trojans or viruses.

Be wary when making the decision to download an antivirus app on your mobile devices.

  • Download from trusted sources only – avoid third-parties. Stick with the stores provided by Google, Microsoft, and Apple.
  • Check if the developing companies are legitimate.
  • Look at the reviews, number of downloads, and comments. It’s inadvisable to download an app with poor ratings or one that hasn’t existed long enough to gain proper feedback.
  • See what permissions the app asks from you. Apps should only have access to the resources it needs. Check the privacy policy to see what they use the information for.

For more information, see the original articles from cnet and RiskIQ.