Is Android malware dangerous? How can I prevent my phone from being infected? How can I remove a malicious app from my phone? What’s the real reason why we see so many malicious apps for Android? All these are questions we will look into during the next minutes.
During the corona crisis, criminal hackers also attacked smartphones and tried to install malware on the devices. Figures from G DATA show that a new Android app containing malware is released every eleven seconds. However, hidden behind the practical overview with real-time information on current infections, users download adware or, in the worst-case scenario, even ransomware onto their mobile device. The attackers continue to keep up the pace of the attacks. The total number of known Android malware samples since the discovery of the first malicious app over ten years ago is over 25 million. Cyber criminals are also increasingly using so-called droppers for mobile malware. This is an installation file for an Android app, which in itself has no malicious routines. But it only downloads and installs malicious "Android packages" during a second stage.
Besides your G DATA Mobile Security app (see later) which will warn you in advance there are some other warning signs that may indicate that your Android phone is infected with malware. Let's look at each signal separately:
With all that being said, there is one caveat. Many of the above signs might have nothing to do with malware. Before jumping to a conclusion, all other explanations need to be ruled out. Each indicator must be viewed in context: If your phone drains its battery a lot faster than it used to, then this might also be a sign that the battery is aging. This is likely to happen in devices that are maybe two years or older. Batteries age chemically and do not hold a charge as well when it gets older. This is completely normal – after all, in most cases the devices are rarely powered off, if at all, and they are undergoing continuous charging and recharging cycles. The result is: whereas you could use the phone all day when it was new, a year or two later you might only get until the early evening before needing to plug it in. This is a gradual process. So, if your brand new phone only lasts half a day on a full charge, this might warrant a closer look into the possibility of a malware infection.
In most of the cases this is a very easy job as you can quickly identify and remove malicious apps with the G DATA mobile security app.
In the very rare case where a mobile malware sample gets through all the defenses you might go for the manual method. The only case I ever saw this method being needed were a couple of mobile ransomware samples. But this manual method can be tricky and time-consuming (for non-technical users) if you don't know how it works.
If you want to try, here is how to manually remove a malicious app from your Android phone:
Here are some important tips to keep your phone malware-free:
Android is the most popular mobile operating system and is used by a large number of people across the world. This means that criminal hackers have a large field of possible victims. Therefore, anyone with an Android phone should be aware of the problem. A lot of Android users seem to underestimate the importance to protect a mobile phone as we see continuously malware showing up on Android phones. I hope at least that our yearly G DATA report (see first paragraph) about Android dangers gives enough of information why protection is inevitable. The good news is that Android (or Google) is doing a lot to increase the security of their mobile OS with every upgrade but it will take many years to make it malware proof. The question remains if it ever will be.