Posted on August 4, 2019 at 11:49 AM
With an estimated 2.71 billion smartphone users worldwide, you may be surprised to find out that your phone probably a security risk to you. New research has shown that the Android system, in particular, has a massive security problem. Before you close this post comfortable in knowing that you have an antivirus installed on your phone, read further.
The truly shocking part? The security breach is coming from the very app you thought was safe. Your antivirus! Testing specialists at Comparitech showed that almost 50% of the 28 million tested installs presented threat attack paths, exposing huge vulnerabilities on the Android platform. Even more scary, one of these apps made your device “easy to disable remotely.” Not a comforting thought for those of us who have taken every precaution to ensure our phones are safe from malicious attack.
How Your Phone is at Risk
Comparitech had all the antivirus apps tested for dangerous trackers and permissions embedded within them. In the end, it was found that users who downloaded these apps from Playstore were not getting what they thought. After investigations were complete, they found that some of the bigger names in the antivirus game had serious security flaws that put the users’ privacy and security at risk. In addition, when tested with a fairly common virus, a surprisingly large number of mobile antivirus apps failed completely.
What About Your Privacy
After looking at dangerous permissions and advertising trackers, they found that one particular antivirus, PSafe, had a startling number of advertising trackers bundled into its app. A test on another app showed that the users’ address book was exposed. These means that there are millions of contact out there, potentially being leaked. Not great for those of us who prefer our privacy.
Is There a Need for Mobile Antivirus Protection?
According to Kaspersky’s Mobile Malware Evolution Report 2018, more than 116.5 million malware and malicious threats were blocked across smartphone user platforms. According to Comparitech, the antivirus building industry is, in itself just too big and fairly unregulated. Ultimately, some vendors add too many features to try and stand out from the rest of the pack. And this seems to be where the root of the problem begins for up and coming developers.
The truth is, there is a threat out there to smartphone users. Because of this, it is best to stick to installing anti-malware from tried and trusted developers. And we don’t mean those rated highly on Playstore. You should do your homework on who is supplying your antivirus.
It Doesn’t End There
After investigating further, it was revealed that Kaspersky has delved into some pretty dodgy antivirus business. In a 2015 report, it was revealed that the company had initiated a cyberattack on AVG, Avast and other big name competitors in an attempt to get them to delete important files off of some of their customers’ devices. Kaspersky, of course, denied the allegations, but the facts are pretty obvious and two previous lab employees have been pretty forthcoming with information of how the plan was executed.