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A Guide to Analyze and Study the Android Malware

When I say we can’t go a day without our phones or mobiles, I’m not exaggerating. I think everyone agrees because we store our entire lives on mobiles these days, right from pictures, important emails, contacts, documents, and bank details. With all this sensitive information on your mobile, imagine it falling into the wrong hands; this can actually create enormous damage. So, with that in mind, today we’ll talk about what malware is, different types of Android malware, different analysis tools, and how to protect our Android device from malware. Let’s get started!!

A Guide to Android Malware

What is malware?

Malware is software designed to cause disruption to a server, computer, client, or any private network. By sending malware to your devices, attackers can gain unauthorized access, and malware leaks your confidential information. Examples of malware are Trojans, viruses, worms, spyware, and adware.

Cybercriminals use malware for many reasons, like:

  • Stealing the target’s credit card information or any other financial information/ credential
  • Locking important files and demanding ransom payments
  • Tricking the target into giving personal data for identity theft

There has been a massive increase in malware attacks lately, and it is very important to check your mobile for any malicious applications.

You have to follow a few steps to check for any malicious applications on your Android mobile, and the steps are:

  1. Open the Play Store application on your mobile.
  2. Click on the menu button (either it will be your email display picture or three dots).
  3. You will find an option called “play protect.” Click it.
  4. After tapping on the play protect option, you will find “scan”.
  5. Clicking on this button will scan your phone. If it shows any malware applications, remove/uninstall them immediately and try to reboot your mobile.

Types of Android malware

Let’s go over five Android malware threats you should be aware of.

Adware: Adware applications display themselves as actual and legitimate applications, and when a user installs them, they start showing you different ADs like pop-ups, video ads, and some adware redirects you to other pages with a bunch of ads. This adware is capable of tracking your sensitive information and acts like spyware.

Trojans and Worms: Trojans and worms can spread through MMS and SMS, and they use the syncing applications to infect the devices connected to the already infected device. These Trojans and worms consume your device’s resources and make your device slow, and sometimes even crash it.

Spyware: Spyware is similar to adware. Spyware applications pretend to be legitimate. Once the user installs the application, it sends sensitive information to the attacker or owner of that spyware. Spyware can track your phone number, Android version, IMSI, IMEI, and financial information. Spyware can also track your browsing history.

Phishing apps: Just like phishing websites, phishing apps also show themselves as one of the popular and legitimate apps, and when the user enters their user credentials, the app steals them. If you enter your bank or credit card details, these apps also steal them.

Expander: These apps make use of WAP billing. Such apps automatically purchase a fake product listed by hackers on the WAP. You’ll be charged accordingly, and this is how attackers make money. In addition, these applications could charge you for sending SMS and calls to premium numbers.

Various Android analysis tools:

Dexter: Dexter is a static analysis tool that finds and removes defects and improves code quality without third-party reviews. Furthermore, Dexter supports storing the analysis results on its server and allowing users to develop their own checkers.

APKInspector: The APKinspector project is another open-source tool for analyzing and reversing Android applications. Using this tool, you can produce reports about permissions used by the application, search and filter strings, classes and methods, rename users, etc.

Anubis: With Anubis, Windows binaries can be run in a sandbox on Windows and Android devices. Every sample is run independently, and it lists all activities related to the application, including those involving the file system and the network.

Malware protection for Android phones:

Set a screen lock: The first thing we will do to protect our device is by setting a screen lock on our mobile, either a pattern, number, iris, or fingerprint. Setting a lock screen can protect your mobile phone from physical attacks. However, this will not protect your device from online threats, and it will keep your sensitive information safe if you temporarily misplace or lose your phone.

Verify applications: Apps should always be verified before being installed on your phone. The Google Play Store is not the only place to get third-party apps. The Cambridge study states that some of these applications are harmless, but others contain malicious codes. Ensure that third-party applications are safe before installing them. Allowing the app on your device is risky if you’re not sure it’s safe. Don’t risk the safety of any personal information.

Use anti-malware software: Ensure your device is protected from malware by installing an anti-malware app from a secure and trusted source, such as Norton Mobile Security. You should scan each new app you download to verify that it was successful and that it does not contain any malicious code. Android devices have been particularly prone to malware. So, make sure you use reputable anti-malware software.

Turn off Bluetooth connectivity: Turn off Bluetooth connectivity when you’re in public. When left on and unattended, Bluetooth lets you connect your phone to other smart devices wirelessly, but it also lets others access your phone without your permission. An attacker could be a stranger at your local coffee shop or a stranger at the coin laundry next to you. So be careful.

Final words

Android malware is coming with new versions, and attackers are using new techniques because there is a lot of sensitive information available on one’s mobile phone. A single wrong step, like clicking on a wrong advertisement or even one unauthorized Bluetooth connection, can give access to the attacker, and they can easily steal your information. So, you have to be very careful with your mobile security. Want to know more about security? InfosecTrain has designed a lot of relevant security courses. So, do have a look at our website.

Yamuna Karumuri ( )
Content Writer
Yamuna Karumuri is a B.tech graduate in computer science. She likes to learn new things and enjoys spreading her knowledge through blogs. She is currently working as a content writer with Infosec Train.
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