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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Android Security, Malware, Spyware, Key Logging

Carol here,

There has been alot of discussion on Android security problems and I thought I might write on this topic in case you may be interested.

You may have already known that our smartphones and cellphones are constantly being tracked when roaming, and our location can be found at any time using them. Another fact is that there is software available for most if not all platforms that can record every keystroke that is made on any type of computer keyboard or touchpad.  That means that your every keystroke can be recorded in a log file that would tell someone all your sign on information, personal information, banking information and other keystrokes of interest.

Sometimes parents might install this type of logging on their childrens computers to track them online.  Not very kind to do that to your kids though.  Now they are talking about an application that can fingerprint the person using the phone to see if they are the owner or not.

Key logging and tracking are some of the reasons why there is malware and spyware removals now, and malicious code is being quarantined and removed on a regular interval.

Android smartphones and computers are especially susceptable to this type of problem because people are not installing security applications on them, and security needs to be put on any platform that is being used to prevent all this spyware from being installed and the persons data from being used.

Blackberry and Microsoft are especially conscious of these problems because they are used on so many Corporate networks. An example of this is the new Blackberry 10 series that uses Blackberry Balance to separate personal and Corporate network information for security application reasons.  This prevents all your personal contacts and information from getting onto the Corporate network.

People should not be able to install these types of tracking applications without your permission, however, alot of times people don't even realize that they have given their permission already.  Sometimes it can be one check mark at the very start of using a phone that can give permission for all this tracking to take place.

Best thing to do is to scan your computer regularly and install security applications.

Bye for now...Carol


  1. Very important topic! What about Kindle? It is Android-based. I do see warning about some threats, like webpage without safety certificate, and then it is up to me to proceed or not. But I was always wondering about computer viruses against Kindle. Do they exist? Can they get into Kindle via wireless connection? Same goes for the "stroke-recognition" programs described by Carol.

  2. Hi,
    I hear the new Kindle Fire HD with an HD display really looks great.

    Kindle Fire is Android based and the following is written in 'Wikipedia' about Android:

    "However, root access can be obtained by exploiting security flaws in Android, which is used frequently by the open-source community to enhance the capabilities of their devices,[86] but also by malicious parties to install viruses and malware.[87]"

    So it looks like the viruses exist using any connection, and I am sure that key strokes can be recorded too.

    Some people recommend 'Lookout Security' for Android, you can talk to Amazon support about that.

    Granting permission to unapproved websites is sort of at your own risk. Amazon that makes Kindle Fire has support for that device but the fact of the matter is that Android is open source and can be modified for every tablet that uses it, so nothing is guaranteed.