Your Mobile Lucky Charm

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While today was originally established to honor the life of St. Patrick, over time the holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, prompting parades and festivals all over the world. Along with the celebration, there are also many different icons associated with St.Patty’s Day: leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold, you know the deal. But one icon stands above the rest, and that’s the four-leaf clover.

Not only is the four-leaf clover a big part of the holiday, it is also used as a good luck charm. While we can appreciate the symbolism of a good luck charm, we also live in the world of hackers and cybercrime, and we know that four-leaf clovers might not make the mark in keeping your mobile device safe. Good security is your real (and only) lucky charm!

As the mobile threat landscape continuously changes, knowing which threats are most likely to affect you can help you keep your device and information safe. Our goal is to be your mobile lucky charm, by explaining what the most recent threats are and how to keep yourself safe from them.

Stagefright is a LerpreCON- artist: Stagefright is a collection of bugs found in the Android operating system. These bugs exploit the Android’s OS and enable hackers to remotely access and control a targeted phone. The hackers send an MMS message , a text message that includes multimedia content, which automatically launches the attack, without the user even clicking on a link.

What can you do to fight Stagefright?

  • Turn off MMS auto retrieval. Is it convenient? No. Is it useful? Yes.
  • Update your phone. When a threat like this is discovered, software updates are made to rectify the situation.
  • Say no to texts from strangers. If you don’t know the person who is sending you a text, don’t open it.

Irish SilverPush Didn’t Exist: An advertising software developer kit (SDK) recently emerged from India aptly named SilverPush. This particular SDK uses your mobile phone’s microphone to listen to sounds around you, like TV, radio and Web ads. When SilverPush detects the signal, it takes the data from your device and sends the info to the advertiser. While not defined as a piece of malware, this is a big invasion of privacy, especially since it’s embedded in other apps and can run without your knowledge.

How can you kick SilverPush to the door? If an app on your device is detected as containing SilverPush, remove it!

Text Messages That are a SHAM (rock): SMishing is a threat you might be familiar with. Hackers use social engineering to trick users into providing sensitive information like usernames and passwords with bogus text messages. The texts are typically easy to spot, alerting you that you’ve won a prize or have an “unclaimed refund” from a strange number. These phishing texts include a link that gathers your personal information or sends you to a page where malware waits for your click.

Hackers have evolved in these attacks and while you may think you won’t fall victim, it’s always good to be aware of the telltale signs of a SMiShing scam:

  • Unknown numbers: Just like Stagefright, don’t open texts from numbers you don’t know!
  • Is it too good to be true? Not to be pessimistic, but typically you won’t win glamorous prizes through a text message.
  • Spelling/grammar errors: This is a major red flag for a SMiShing scam and you shouldn’t trust texts with errors.

Don’t you think it’s time you get lucky when it comes to mobile security? The threats above are some examples that you may face when using your mobile device. The best way to always make sure you’re staying safe? Download comprehensive security software, like  McAfee® Mobile Security, for both Android and iOS.



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