New Cell Phone Virus Steals Bank Information
I was recently asked (two weeks ago) if I thought you needed antivirus on your cell phone… I thought about this for a bit and basically said “well… I personally don’t run it… I’ve never heard of a virus on a cell phone (that actually _did_ anything)… so, no… I don’t think it’s really necessary right now.”
Today. Two weeks later. I was proven oh so very wrong.
Xbot cell phone virus targets Android phones (don’t get cocky Iphone users, there are a few viruses in the wild targeting yours too, I’m just not talking about them yet 🙂 ). This virus is _bad_… terribly nasty… in a nutshell, it steals your personal information, passwords, online banking credentials, credit card details and basically anything you have stored in the phone (don’t have anything stored you think? Does your Amazon app need a password when you use it? What about Ebay? Paypal? If those apps log in automatically when you open them, you’re storing data on your phone).
Best part: we currently have no idea how the Xbot virus spreads. So, I can’t tell you what to look out for, what to avoid, etc.
Oh… sorry, this might be the best part: after the virus is done sending all your personal data to the C&C (control and command) server, it then encrypts your phone, locks it down and requests a ransom to be paid in order to get your phone working again and your data back.
Now, some slight good news: if you’re using Android version 5.0 or newer, you’re protected from roughly half of the bad things the virus does… any older than that though and you get the full onslaught.
So, now I’m recommending a good antivirus program for your phone to protect you from Xbot and any other cell phone virus out there. There are two types: managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged programs are those that only exist on your phone, do not have a central control system and are a lot like the antivirus you would see on your home computer. Managed antivirus is what you would expect in a corporate environment… it’s managed from a central console, controlled by someone (in this case: myself), etc. Managed systems also allow the console to lock or erase a phone if it’s stolen, find your phone if it’s lost and we can even change the passcode if you forget yours.
Cost: $2.00 / month (billed annually @ $24 per year)
If you want an unmanaged solution, go to your Google Play Store and search for “Norton Security and Antivirus” – It’s $30 per year but there is a free version that I feel comfortable recommending for people who do not have a lot of personal data on their phone to protect.
If you’d like to read more about this virus:
As always, thanks for reading and email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BardNet, LLC dba Computer 21, LLC