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FBI warns that Android phones are havens for malware

Updated Oct 21st, 2012 4:20PM EDT

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A division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning to smartphone users about mobile malware and device safety, specifically regarding the Android operating system. A report published late last week the Internet Crime Complaint Center revealed that it has been made aware of various malware attacks, such as Loozfon and FinFisher, that target Android smartphones. Each malware is different and can range from stealing a user’s address book to completely taking over the infected device. The agency notes that Loozfon and FinFisher are just two examples of active malware that are used by criminals and users should take precautions to protecting their devices.

When purchasing a smartphones users should know the features of the device and use protective features such as device encryption and antivirus software to guard personal data. When downloading and purchasing apps, the FBI advises that users not only read reviews but also understand the permissions, such as Geo-location, they are granting the apps. Geo-location is used in applications to track a user’s location mostly for marketing purposes, but it can also be used for malicious purposes such as cyber stalker or burglaries.

The agency recommends that for physical security smartphone owners should consider locking their devices with a pass code and only connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks. Lastly, smartphones should always be kept up-to-date and users should avoid jailbreaking or rooting their devices to avoid greater security concerns.

All in all, users should be using the same precautions on their mobile phone as they do on their computers.

[Via Fortune]


Dan joins the BGR team as the Android Editor, covering all things relating to Google’s premiere operating system. His work has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn’t testing the latest devices or apps, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.