Understanding phone infections takes more technical knowledge than many can muster. If you own android, though, it’s time to pony up since the alternative may see your hand-held tossed in the garbage.
Three new viruses – rootkits, actually – all based on one piece of publicly sourced code, are now traveling in the best company. Popular, name brand apps taken from the Google Play store are infected and then uploaded to less stringent app sites, circumventing the rigors Google insists for their wares.
These rootkits won’t go away even if you reset the phone, as the infections – going by names Shedun, Shuanet and ShiftyBug – insinuate themselves into Android’s ‘reserved file’ system, making them all but unerasable.
Android apps can be downloaded from many stores and locations though the wise among us will stick to Google Playstore here forward. Apple is likely taking grim pleasure from Google’s hard lesson, having criticized the permissive third party store policy from the jump.
The infections come as iOS fiercely battles Android for eyeballs. Apple’s market share now experiences an uptick, adding customers in locations once almost exclusively Android, especially in parts of Asia.
CEO Tim Cook recently noted modest growth in the billion-plus populations of Indonesia and India, though the company’s higher end product continues to meet intense competition from value driven Android sales.
Keeping your Android smartphone from the trash heap requires a few good habits. Stay away from jail breaking – a technique that switches off android restrictions to allow unapproved, unvetted applications. Only download from Google Playstore and never from third party stores. Finally, adding antivirus apps such as Avast or Lookout can save your skin, say, if unmonitored children attempt game downloads in your absence.
Following all the good advice in the world will only keep your phone alive to fight another day. Each sunrise brings new, as yet unimagined attacks on all computing devices in general and smartphones in particular. This is a moving scrum line that require vigilance above all.
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