Android security, the three most dangerous malware threats

According to Check Point, a well-known cybersecurity expert company, the worst malware are: Hummingbad, Hiddad and Lotoor. Here's how to defend yourself

Despite Google's attempts, which over the years has made its operating system increasingly secure, Android continues to be targeted by hackers. Between malware and viruses, the green robot is, in fact, the favorite target of hackers, ready to infect the smartphones of the victims.

There are a number of reasons why Android is persecuted by cyber criminals. The first is quite simple: the Mountain View OS is present on most of the mobile devices out there. Then, compared to iOS, Android gives users many freedoms, including the ability to install applications from unofficial sources. Which can often contain malware as well. Unfortunately, however, it also happens that hackers are adept at infiltrating the Play Store, fooling Android's strict controls. There are, in fact, several cases and they range from malware that has hidden itself inside a video game app, to that present in a battery software, passing through FalseGuide, a virus that has affected two million users. All of them had been able to land in Google's market.

The consequences for users infected by malware are dire. Viruses can cause damage to devices, but they can also take over victims' personal data, which, as we know, can include a lot of confidential information, including passwords and banking credentials.

The three Android bogeymen

Malware, however, is not all the same and differs in terms of attack mode and targets. According to Check Point, a well-known IT security company, there are three most dangerous threats for Android: Hummingbad, Hiddad and Lotoor.

Hummingbad is a very devious malware because it aims to install a rootkit, which is a malicious software used by hackers to take control of the device and add other malicious applications. Cyber criminals can, through Hummingbad, install keyloggers, break through email protection systems and steal user data.

Hiddad is a deceptive malware: its task, in fact, is to penetrate the code of one of the applications present in the Android store and create a perfect and infected copy, to then spread it on unofficial digital markets. Hiddad normally displays advertisements on the affected devices. And not only that. The malware in some cases is also able to take over a lot of personal information.

The third and final dangerous threat for all Android devices is Lotoor. It is a malware that aims to gain administrator privileges by exploiting the presence of vulnerabilities in the green robot's operating system. In this way, hackers can take control of the device. With everything that follows.

How to protect yourself

Android is a secure system, improved especially with Nougat. Although some malicious apps manage to land on the Google Play Store, bypassing the control systems, most infections are caused by users' superficiality. Downloading apps from unofficial markets, in fact, is very dangerous. Just as it is risky to open attachments or links from unknown sources. It is also advisable to keep Android updated with the latest version.