How to know if an application is malicious and trying to “hack” the “smartphone”

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Madrid

Updated:08/05/2020 01: 15h

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On the internet, as in all life, total security does not exist. Threats are hidden in every corner, and to get around them, it is important for the user to look at the details before interacting with any mail, page or file that is minimally suspicious. And, precisely, the same happens with mobile applications, which are tools that can help the user; but they should not be downloaded lightly under any circumstances.

“When downloading an” app “it is very important to follow a series of steps that are decisive in avoiding a scare,” explains the technical director of the cybersecurity company to ABC. Check Point. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your data safe.

Watch for fakes

One of the most common techniques of cybercriminals who work with applications is that of Counterfeiting popular apps to get more downloads. The study ” A Multi-modal Neural Embeddings Approach for Detecting Mobile Counterfeit Apps», Prepared by the University of Sydney and published last year, maintains that, for two years, the presence of more than 2,000 applications for Android present in the official Google Play store was detected, posing as other well-known« apps »and that they contained “malware,” that is, viruses.

Therefore it is decisive to notice Much in that the application that we want to download is the original one. “This can be seen by checking the number of downloads, the reviews of other users or the syntax in the description,” says Eusebio Nieva.

Only in official stores

When downloading an application it is essential to always use the official stores of the devices. These are Google Play Store and Apple Store, in the case of Android e iOS respectively. On the Internet there are countless web pages that offer the download of “apps” for mobile phones that are not available on official sites. The fact that their origin is unknown, and that, in principle, brands do not trust them to offer them, is a clear indicator that they could be malicious.

The technical director of Check Point puts a lot of emphasis on this detail, although he acknowledges that harmful applications for the devices can also be found on Google Play and the Apple Store. “Official stores should always be used. Inside, the probability of finding a malicious “app” is less. Although it exists. The companies have services that are dedicated to discarding applications that appear to have some kind of hidden “malware” but do not always work ».

Be careful with the permissions

Before installing any service on a device, it is important to review, even if only for a moment, the information requested by the user. Accordingly, it is normal for an application like InstagramDesigned especially for sharing photos and videos, ask the user for permission to access the microphone, camera and reel of the «smartphone». However, if, for example, we download an “app” with flashlight functions and it asks us for access to all the information we keep on the device – when it doesn’t need it to function properly – the most convenient thing is to save the download so can happen.

Keep them updated

Updates to applications, as in the case of operating systems, are crucial to strengthen terminal security. And it is that, normally, the new versions are accompanied by open gap solutions that can be exploited by cybercriminals. For this reason, cybersecurity experts recommend not to pass the time and carry out the corresponding update at the same time it is available.

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