|When installing applications onto your Android phone, users should display caution, following several reported security breaches through the Google Play Services platform due to infected software.
Up to 400 infected apps have been reportedly downloaded by hundreds of thousands of Google Play Users, using malicious software known as Dresscode. Dresscode is commonly used to conduct cyber-espionage or to download sensitive data from mobile phones. Attackers are able to use your device without your knowledge to initiate attacks against other people’s online service or to gain access to sensitive information via corporate servers. Given its ability to infiltrate any internal network to which the device belongs, it poses a huge risk to an organisation’s entire security system. Potential outcomes of malware infection by Dresscode include corruption and loss of data and unauthorised access to confidential business or financial information, resulting in immediate and ongoing effects such as financial and operational losses and loss of reputation.
The Dresscode malware disguises itself as legitimate applications, in the form of games, skins, themes and phone optimisation boosters, making it difficult for users to differentiate between the real deal or the fake. This makes it easy for attackers to access personal information on your device and use it to participate in fraudulent behaviour.
While this type of malicious code cannot be controlled by conventional antivirus software, there are a number of recommended practises that users can adopt in order to minimise the risk to their device.
You can protect your privacy in a number of ways, including;
· Be extremely careful when installing applications onto your Android phone and limit your downloads to the Google Play Store and other trustworthy sources. If the app comes from a company you have never heard of before, do some research before downloading it onto your phone;
· Check the number of times the app has previously been downloaded, its star ratings and any individual reviews given by users. Reviews will give you an indication as to whether any other users have observed any suspicious activity when downloading the apps;
· The app verification function may be turned on, which will scan your device for malicious activity and warn you if it detects any possible threats. This function is available on practically all Android phones and should be used before and after you install any apps;
· Protect yourself by not touching Android’s default security settings;
· You can also set your device to ensure that it automatically receives security updates;
· Report any harmful apps to Google Play. You can do this by flagging the content of the application and providing an explanation for your security concerns.
While these types of malicious code are a legitimate security issue, there’s no need for users to panic just yet. By following these simple recommendations, the likelihood of malware such as Dresscode accessing your device and personal information will be reduced.