The Most Common Malware Found On Mobile Devices

Cybersecurity experts have identified the most common types of malware hackers attempt to launch against mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads.

Remote access tools allow cybercriminals to access a user's entire device, including cameras and text messaging services.

Bank trojans steal the login credentials of online banking apps, allowing hackers access to personal and financial information.

Ransomware locks a user out of their device until a ransom is paid – usually in the form of cryptocurrency, which is untraceable.

Cryptomining malware hijacks the battery power of a user's device without their knowledge to aid the hacker in the accumulation of cryptocurrency.

Advertising click fraud malware causes a device to click advertisements over and over without the user's knowledge to generate income for the hacker. Srikanth "Mobile Malware Infections You Don't Want to Get" (Jan. 26, 2022).

Commentary and Checklist

Once your smartphone or mobile device is infected with malware, it can be notoriously difficult to get rid of.

Of course, the best protection for your smartphone is always prevention. Be sure that you know the source of any file you opt to download; if you receive anything that looks suspicious, delete it right away. While hackers are growing more sophisticated in their malware attacks, most of them rely on your participation by downloading a file or clicking on a link to infect your device, so be savvy and conservative in which files and links you choose to enable.

Here are some signs your device may be infected with malware:

  • Slowing down or crashing more than normal
  • Displaying frequent error messages
  • Failing to shut down or restart
  • Displaying numerous pop-up messages
  • Opening web pages you did not visit or sending emails you did not write
  • New toolbars or icons showing up unexpectedly
  • Your Internet home page changing suddenly and repeatedly
  • Your laptop battery draining more quickly than normal
  • Windows opening, claiming to scan your computer for viruses and finding an unrealistically large number
  • Black screens opening and closing when you start the computer
  • Emails being returned with virus warnings
  • Icons moving when you try to click on them
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