Fake anti-virus apps

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Android is plagued with fake apps and fake anti-virus apps could be the worst of the worst.

Fake apps on Android have been a major problem for a long time. They’ll imitate popular apps and claim to offer certain features, all while pinching your data or sending premium rate messages in the background.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, focuses on the problem of fake anti-virus apps which you expect to come with a higher demand for access to your device.

“Fake AV apps are a good way for malicious actors to ask for permissions that we would normally question.

“If you installed a game or a paint app, for example, you would not expect it to ask for root or admin permissions or access to the more private areas of your phone, but we would expect it without question in an app of this type. 

“Policies and Mobile Device Management (MDM) can help organisations limit or block the install of unauthorised apps.

“As an individual I would always encourage users to read as many reviews as possible before installing an app. You will often find information about any dodgy or potentially malicious app in the comments. 

“Often it can be as simple as just removing or uninstalling the app to remove it from your system. If you are still concerned then you may consider backing up and doing a factory reset then restoring your data to clear anything that concerns you.

“If your OS allows then find and install a good anti-virus program from a vendor you trust, please read plenty of reviews before installing the one you decide on.”

Have you every downloaded an app that wasn’t what it seemed? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.