Some people think that because it is not a computer, a mobile is not exposed to viruses. But that is not true, since a smartphone can be the victim of a wide variety of attacks with different types of malware, such as adware.
How adware gets on the phone
Adware or ad bomb is a type of malicious software that can affect our morale a lot, since it is designed to display ads on the screen of any device almost always for malicious purposes. According to INCIBE, the National Institute of Cybersecurity in Spain, once the adware ‘hijacks’ the device, it can analyze the location and the websites you visit and display ads according to your location and interests.
We can catch adware on the mobile if we have been browsing:
– Third-party application stores or applications considered by our device as unsafe, downloaded directly from any page on the Internet.
– Certain unsafe or disreputable websites that use vulnerabilities in browsers (called exploits) to stealthily download adware without consent.
How to know if we have an infected mobile
It is possible to find out about this if we see certain signs and / or behavior patterns on the mobile that we did not see before, for example:
Mysterious icons that pop up on the home screen
Massive ads that begin to block the device screen.
Some examples of pop-up windows like the ads with miraculously losing weight programs, offers with get-rich secrets, and bogus virus warnings that invite you to click on them.
Tabs suddenly open
The home page is different
We get results from a search engine that we haven’t even heard of
We are redirected to an unsolicited website.
Links that redirect to different websites than they should.
Very slow web browser.
Automatic installation of unwanted software applications.
The browser crashes.
Types of adware
Most of the strategies that adware uses to infiltrate a device can be classified as browser hijacking. These intruders specialize in modifying browser settings without the user’s knowledge and without their consent. There are different forms of adware for different devices and operating systems. Until March 2020 the ranking of malicious software is held by the following:
– xHelper: Malicious Android application that was first discovered in March 2019. It is used to download other malicious applications and display ads. The application is capable of evading mobile antivirus programs, as well as reinstalling itself in case the user removes it.
– AndroidBauts: Adware aimed at Android users that extracts IMEI, IMSI, GPS location and other information from devices and allows the installation of third-party applications and shortcuts on mobile devices.
– Lotoor: Hacking tool that exploits vulnerabilities in the Android operating system to obtain root privileges.