Do people seriously fall for these things?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by hradek422, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. hradek422

    hradek422 Member

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    First of all, I apologize if this is in the wrong section. It's related to Android, so Android General Discussions seemed right.

    Okay, so my roommate showed me a link that angered him, and it angered me as well. The reason for the anger is not only because of what the site was claiming, but also because of the people commenting on it who actually believe that it's legit. The rundown of what this site claims is this: Google has discovered a security issue with all versions of Android below 5.0, and this could result in any app being able to send malicious malware to your phone, and steal your information. Install our app, and use it to scan your device for the vulnerability, and if it exists, we will "remove" it.

    Really? People fall for that? If there's a firmware related security hole in Google's OS, then Google is going to release a fix for it. I don't believe that some 3rd Party App is going to magically scan your phone, "detect" this issue, and "fix" it if it exists. It's a total scam, and it bugs me that people can fall for it. There were actual comments on there asking where people could donate for it.... seriously?

    Am I way off-base here, or does this bother anyone else? It's not like this was on some forum like this one, where we have a dedicated dev community. It was a site promoting its own software; Cheetah Mobile or something like that.

    People: DON'T TRUST things like this!
     
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  2. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    I'll second this commentary above. The fact is that any of these sites or links that profess to scan your computer or device and fix problems can often be malicious attempts to gain access to your device and install spyware or other unwanted applications.

    Oftentimes these sites install search engine features to take your search engine control away from your preferred search engine and push it to one that limits your access to the information that you're looking for. It can be nearly impossible to remove the search engine redirects once they're put in place.

    Another thing that they often do is install toolbars on top of your browser which again cause redirects to other sites than the ones you're hoping to get to. These toolbars also slow down the operation of your browser as does the search engine redirect. The same types of attacks are now starting to show up in Android as the Android operating system gets more and more powerful and offers more more ways to take control of the browser experience inside them.

    Shy away from any links that suggest you may have viruses and suggest that you should let them scan your device to locate and fix these viruses. If you have viruses, you'll probably know it and you'll want to search for good quality clean professional tools to remove them yourself.

    Be wary of any website that seems to want to sell you a product to protect your device because most likely they're going to do more damage than good in the way of searching for viruses, by instead installing spyware.

    To minimize your risk to this type of attack, your phone is defaulted to only allowing downloads of apps to be installed from the Google Play Store. If you never remove this default you should be safe as Google does a great job of policing the apps and protecting us from malicious developers. However if you remove this default, the phone will warn you that you are on your own and that you are taking risks when installing 3rd party apps. Heed this warning and be extra careful when installing 3rd party apps. Make sure you research the app and that it gets good ratings from a wide base of users.

    Just because an app isn't on the Google Play Store doesn't mean it's a bad app, it simply means it either doesn't conform to the Google standards for whatever reason, or the developer chose not to have it included on the Play Store - again for whatever reason. There are plenty of great apps that can only be found on 3rd party websites but you must be careful when choosing to install one of these apps.

    Even known good apps can be infiltrated and used as a container to carry a virus or spyware into your device. If the app is being "mirrored" on another host site not authorized by the original developer, it is potentially infected and the risk of your device being commandeered is greater. Stay with links posted by the developer him or herself, and with links that are posted on forums such as ours from known and respected members with high rankings. Definitely stay away from ANY links posted by a "new member", as these are most often SPAM and may contain malicious links.

    Finally, if you're not sure, post a question about the app on our forum and our experienced and knowledgeable staff and members will most likely be able to give you a reliable assessment of the app or a suitable and possibly better alternative.
     
    #2 FoxKat, Nov 26, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
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  3. thunderbolt_nick

    thunderbolt_nick Thunderbolt Rescue Squad
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    Oh people do fall for these things, even iOS users after the whole iCloud celebrity fiasco (which I have my reservations about). I don't really understand how people will turn to other companies to fix a problem when they could simply...I don't know. CALL THE MANUFACTURER! You'd think logic would tell these people, "Hey...wouldn't the people who make the phone know more about it than some other people I barely even know?"

    In all honesty, I think because of the 'ease of access' to content for those on mobile phones make people more susceptible to the 'install and fix it' mentality. I've talked to many a people only to find out at the end that their number 1 response is, "but it was so easy I thought it would just make my phone more secure. After all, what's the harm?" Things like this. Most learn their lesson real quick after those same companies threaten to extort money out of them.
     
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  4. IIGood

    IIGood Silver Member

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    For me, it's not just Android specific or even specific to phones, but with technology and computers in general. FoxKat has elaborated on this in his post above and I truly echo the sentiment.

    There are way too many users of technology that get too easily scared by the big, flashing pop-ups and such that say "YOUR SYSTEM IS AT RISK!! CLICK HERE TO FIX!!" Then they click the "button" and end up in worse shape than before the pop-up appeared.

    To some extent, I wish any user of technology would take some time to better understand what they're getting in to. Whether it be buying a new OS, a new computer, or even a new phone...just learn some basics, what to watch out for, and become a little more savvy when using tech. ESPECIALLY in this day and age when technology is just about literally everywhere you go.

    It is frustrating seeing people get taken advantage of like that.
     
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