Android Malware - Coming to a Device Near You

Android has been steadily increasing in popularity in the smartphone category, and now they are commanding more than 40% of the global smartphone market. So why is this important? From the consumer perspective, this plays a critical role in the types of applications we utilize if we purchase an Android device (which is becoming more likely)!! According to nielsenwire, the top three most downloaded categories are: 1. games, 2. entertainment, and 3.  productivity. Furthermore, at some point you are going to surely download a mobile application to make you more productive or to just have some fun. These things are ok and perfectly fine. Heck, that's what you bought you shiny new Android device for! Now you have the obligation to protect the data and information you possess on that device. Following this further, the Android market doesn't have strict requirements on which applications are allowed in, and this has created opportunities for individuals with bad intentions. The latest malware to appear is called "DroidDream," which is a trojan that is designed to listen to conversations and send data back to unidentified sources. To avoid malicious applications like this, there are some steps to take: 

Check your settings to restrict downloading from external markets. One way to ensure that you are protected from threats and vulnerabilities is to go to > Settings > Applications > and make sure "Unknown sources" is unchecked! This will safeguard against downloading applications from outside market places

Research the developer. When you are downloading an app, there it will say the developers name or company. Do your homework and look up this name; in addition, complete a thorough search on the name and reference blogs and other forums, where you can get a grasp of who they are. 

Understand which services the application is accessing. If the application needs access to your friend's list and its a game or stop-watch, that should be a red flag! Look at the services the application needs access to and make an informed decision if you should download or not download (google app requirements).