How valid is the threat of viruses?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by OldMan1955, May 25, 2010.

  1. OldMan1955
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    OldMan1955 New Member

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    While browsing the market app, I noticed they had a free virus app. This got me to thinking...how valid is this threat to these types of phones? Should I be concerned with getting a virus, Trojan, or worm?
  2. bomber889
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    bomber889 New Member

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    No, don't be worried at all.
  3. eliassami5
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    eliassami5 New Member

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    as far as i know there has not been a reported case of a virus on an android phone. All the antivirus apps are good for is slowing down your phone..and being useless.
  4. zerosouls
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    zerosouls Soulless Droid Premium Member

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    Nah, I'd be more concerned with phishing. But I haven't seen a single case pf virus's trojans or worms on the Android.
  5. steveninspokane
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    steveninspokane Member

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    That is interesting that you brought this up. Just the other day in Forensic class my professor mentioned the same thing. He was speaking on the open source of Android and said that perhaps a hacker could create a malicious app that when downloaded would first send a message to all your contacts advising them to download the app, a simple message like: "Hey check out this GREAT app I found, and It's FREE!!!", and then it could start spamming nice Viagra adds to everyone in the phones contacts list.

    Granted this was a hypothetical thought, but Still I wonder also, what are the odds that this can't be done, and really what kind of protection do we have against it?
  6. eliassami5
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    eliassami5 New Member

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    what did android have to do with forensics class? lol.

    Anyway, uninstalling that app would fix the problem. Since an app can only control the things you allow it to (when you install an app you allow the use of certain things, and those things are clearly stated) then just uninstalling that app will be all thats needed.

    but that brings up another point..make sure you look at the things you allow apps to use when you go to install them, dont just blindly press install when trying out new apps before you look at what permissions you are giving them. If you are downloading a game and it says it needs to use your contacts list..why would it need that? makes you think twice.
  7. zerosouls
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    zerosouls Soulless Droid Premium Member

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    Imagine that; a program that results in malicious activity due to user error :p
  8. steveninspokane
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    steveninspokane Member

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    Haha, When you have A Droid, Everything has something to do with it.
    Oh, and it was Computer Forensics. :p

    And BTW, That is some great points you made. Just uninstalling the app would be an easy fix, Unless perhaps you installed a rootkit? not sure f it is possible with the Android OS.

    Also you're right, we should always look at what we allow when we try a new product, that in itself should keep us virus free.
  9. 1linuxfreak
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    1linuxfreak New Member

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    Just downloaded DEFT Linux, free and powerful forensic software.
  10. zerosouls
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    zerosouls Soulless Droid Premium Member

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    lol, good times
  11. djrakun
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    djrakun New Member

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    I wouldn't be too worried about viruses. If you are unrooted, there is no way for a virus to get control of the protected system files and if you are rooted, you would have to whitelist the activity with superuser, so as others have posted it would be your fault. Worst case scenario if a virus mauled your phone you always have recovery mode that would put you right back to stock img or whatever your last nandroid backup was if you're rooted. Also possibly another layer of defense is that all apps run in their own virtual machines (with few exceptions where they can share). This should prevent an app from destabilizing or corrupting another app, but there could be some loopholes to this. Got to ask someone smarter than me for that.

    The threat of malware however is very real. Google does do a good job of scanning market apps for legitimacy, but early this year there was an online banking app that was discovered to be a data collector (personally I think anyone who puts bank account information into a mobile phone is an idiot, regardless if the os is linux or not). This app was the best type of malicious code: the one that doesn't advertise to you that you're infected'. The viagra scenario is easy enough to uninstall the app, but the point of that kind of attack is that the damage is done and the attacker is finished with your phone by the time you notice. The far more dangerous malware are the sleeper cells.

    Think about it: how many apps have you installed that the app manager told you that you are giving it access to the internet, for contacts, system controls, etc? Just food for thought. This might come across as paranoid (I didn't root for a long time bc I didn't like the idea that no password was assigned to su) but if you ever heard someone say 'i know just enough to be dangerous' when it comes to programming or whatever that they likely aren't bs'ing you. You don't have to be a great programmer to steal someone's personal information from cookies. My best advice is to think twice before installing any unsigned apps from somebody's website.
  12. dr01dm0dd3r
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    dr01dm0dd3r New Member

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    Did you guys see that that ppl actually paid for the antivirus app, quite sad actually, that developers would take advantage of the ignorance of the android users. Shane on them . We need to educate the people!
  13. HarshReality
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    HarshReality Member

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    I had a debate about this with a networking friend of mine.. I mentioned it was linux based and that on install you were informed about what the system needed access to so you could approve or decline.. He said what if your rooted.. I told him rooted apps still ask for confirmation and will every time unless you choose to remember..

    I had to remember that if it were not for the 'what ifs' IT Security jobs would be extinct.. they make their money by putting fear into folks. So I simply told him to save the sales pitch for the customers because I wasnt going to buy it. Ive always believed in one constant.. If people what at your data they will get it even if they have to bang on your for months. That is part of the allure of hacking and exploit.. the challenge. If they want better data they need to attack google for the dashboard.

    But in the end.. if you sleep better having system resources looking for a unicorn in a package then have at it :)

    **Unicorn reference.. some say they exist.. some say no.. but nobody has ever really seen one.
  14. brando56894
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    brando56894 New Member

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    When I first got my droid I found the AV app and figured it was a good idea to install it, a few days later I actually thought about viruses and android and came up with the same conclusion as you. If youre unrooted, youre safe, if youre rooted youre less safe. Either way its not a major threat.
  15. OldMan1955
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    OldMan1955 New Member

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    Sorry to ask a dumb question, but what is rooted and unrooted?
  16. brando56894
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    brando56894 New Member

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  17. BKS
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    BKS New Member

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    I imagine that all the apps available in the market are "pre-checked" for any possible issues. I tried to download an app from the web the other day and my Droid simply wouldn't let me. I think I'd need to go into settings and change something before I could do that.
    If a virus or a worm was to infect your phone, my guess it would come from downloading an app off the open net.
  18. OldMan1955
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    OldMan1955 New Member

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    Thanks for the link to root, and thanks for the info on this issue. Its good to know that Google scans the apps for potential problems.
  19. djrakun
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    djrakun New Member

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    If somebody didn't ask those 'what ifs' when they were designing your software, your phone woule be bricked beyond repair already. IT's sole purpose is to provide zero downtime for data flow. If they weren't trying to predict anomalous outcomes for any scenario, they wouldn't have designed failovers, flash recovery, antivirus, firewalls, to keep you happily doing whatever you do without interruption.

    I'd wager to say the IT guys that say 'what if' are the good guys. Its the guys that just throw jargon at you when something goes wrong and ultimately resolve all issues with a reboot is what has likely stained your perception of that industry, but there are frauds like this in a lot of lines of work; most notably mechanics and doctors.

    I'll just step down from this soapbox now
  20. djrakun
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    djrakun New Member

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    Oh boy, you are going to get a lot of 'let me google that for you' replies if you ask .questions like this. I'll spare you this one time: rooting is the process of granting permissions to your protected system files to give you ultimate control over your device. It makes the impossible possible
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