Malware

How to Remove Malware from an Android Phone

in Hacking
How to Remove Malware from an Android Phone

Is your Android device running slower than usual? Are there all kinds of strange apps appearing on it? Then chances are high you have malware. With over 2 billion active users in the world, cases of Android devices suffering from malware are not uncommon.

In this guide, you will learn how to remove malware from your Android phone. 

Does my Android Phone Have Malware?

Android malware

Android is an open-source OS, which means its source code can be viewed by anyone. Therefore, developers can learn how to code Android apps, while organizations can customize it for a variety of use cases.

However, the disadvantage of open-source systems is that the underlying code can be manipulated to create malware for Android phones. Therefore, it is important for you to learn to identify signs of malware and how to resolve it to keep your phone safe.

More often, when you think you may have an Android virus it turns out to be something trivial. For instance, your phone may be exhibiting sluggish performance or slow to execute commands. While this could mean malware is operating in the background and tying up system resources, it can also be something else. Your phone could be overworked due to multiple running apps, or the device could simply be old. 

A common sign your phone could have malware is a fast-draining battery. One explanation for a quick draining battery, especially if your phone is slow, could be the presence of malware. This could also mean your background apps are consuming too much power and need to be managed, or your device is aged and needs to be replaced. 

Other symptoms of malware include unexplained data usage, strange pop-ups, and fraudulent billing activity. Evidently, not all Android issues have malicious causes. Without antivirus software, there’s no sure way to know if your phone is infected.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself is you suspect a phone malware:

  • Did the problem begin after you downloaded an app or a file?
  • Did you tap on an ad that triggered an app or file download you are unaware of?
  • Have you recently sideloaded an application from a non-Google play store source?
  • Do you only experience the problem when you ran the app?

How to Remove Malware from Your Android

remove malware from android phone

One way would be to install antivirus software from the Google Play store. The antivirus will serve to remove any harmful virus and act as a defensive shield. It is important to note that nowadays Android phones have an inbuilt security feature known as Google Protect. The application scans the apps on your phone and checks for malware. 

You can download the best antivirus app from the Google Play Store, install and use it to scan your device for malware. Apps added on the Play store are scanned for malicious behavior and thus, you are very unlikely to install a malware app from the Play store. 

A quick scan of the apps on your phone will be sufficient to reveal any malicious apps you have downloaded from outside the Play store. Thereafter, you can opt to block the file. Doing so will prevent the app from running on your device but will not remove it from your phone. 

To uninstall the malware file you can press on the app icon to display the ‘delete’ option and proceed to remove it. Apps, on the other hand, can sometimes be tricky to remove especially if designed to frustrate such efforts. The solution would be to restart your phone in safe mode. This will prevent non-native applications on your phone or non-Google apps from running. 

Once your phone restarts, navigate to ‘settings’ then ‘apps’. Identify the malware app and uninstall it from your phone. If the uninstall option is not available you will have to remove the administrator privileges and then delete it.

How to Protect Your Android from Malware

To defend your Android against malware you should invest in the best antivirus software you can find on the Google Play store. You can review each based on the user feedback and ratings and decide which meets your fancy.

Moreover, a common-sense approach would be not to install any apps from unverified sources.

Ultimately, by identifying early signs of malware on your Android you can take action before you are forced to reset and lose most of your files. 

Careful! WeTransfer Virus Emails May Arrive in Your Inbox

in Hacking
WeTransfer Virus

WeTransfer virus emails leverage the popularity of the file-sharing platform, WeTranfer, to spread malware.

In this article, you will learn about WeTransfer virus emails and how to protect yourself against them.

How WeTransfer Virus Emails Work

WeTransfer Virus Email

The WeTransfer virus email appears in your inbox with the company logo deceiving you into thinking it is coming from the company itself. These emails contain download links that seemingly point to WeTransfer.

If you open such an email and click on the download link, a message indicating that your session has expired pops up. This message then requires that you enter the password of your email address after which you are either provided with a download prompt or asked for more personal information.

Neither of these two options are good for you because the download prompt exposes you to malicious contents, and you providing more personal information puts you at risk.

Email password or other personal information that you provide on these links go to scammers and online criminals. They make use of your email account and personal information to defraud you or others on your email list.

How to Address WeTransfer Virus Emails

WeTransfer malwar
An example of a WeTransfer malware email received by our editor.

Do Not Open Suspected or Irrelevant Emails

The best way to not become a victim is to avoid opening emails that look illegitimate. Emails that do not come from a brand or person that is familiar should go into the recycle bin. When you receive an email with attached files or links, be careful before opening them.

Always carry out the three effective steps of ‘STOP – REFLECT – VERIFY’ before opening.

Do Not Enter Your Email Address Anywhere Without Verifying

Many hackers that use WeTransfer as cover to send virus emails accessed these emails from sites or links. Download sites are the leading sites where these email addresses are extracted from in bulk.

When these addresses are gotten, the third party, through the medium of email marketing, sends continuous virus emails to individuals. You can avoid this by limiting how and where you enter your email address.

Make Use of Email Spam Filters

These days, for many individuals and brands, their inboxes are just as busy as their day. Hundreds of emails – known and unknown – come in every day. Therefore, it can become overwhelming to manage these emails and to filter the legitimate from the illegitimate ones.

To manage your emails and quickly identify spam emails, you can make use of spam filters. These filters help you identify spam emails and flag them to prevent you from interacting with such emails. While this may not be 100% reliable, it is a good way to avoid emails that contain malware.

Change Your Email Password Regularly

The more personal information you have on your email account, the higher the need to regularly change passwords. Hackers work tirelessly to break into accounts and will do so at all cost. Therefore, you have to keep your password strong by combining numbers, letters and symbols. Moreover, refrain from telling others your password and change it when you suspect any irregularity.

WeTransfer virus emails may arrive in your inbox. These emails are often carefully crafted to deceive you into thinking it is from WeTransfer.

Do not open these emails. Instead, delete them immediately!

Top 10 Hacking Tools, Apps, And Software You Should Know (And Probably Fear)

in Hacking
hacking tools

In this article, we discuss some of the most known hacking tools, apps, and software to make you aware of some of the most pressing cyber threats out there.

John the Ripper

John the Ripper also referred to by its initials JTR, is one of the most well-known password crackers. This hacking software can crack even the most complex passwords out there. It’s an excellent security tool to use to test password strength in your operating system. This password cracking tool mainly performs dictionary attacks. It takes text string samples from a text file that contains complex and popular words that can be found in a dictionary or from real passwords that have been cracked before. It encrypts them in a similar manner as the password that’s being cracked and compares the results to the encrypted string.

Although it’s an ethical hacking tool, John the Ripper can be used to decipher algorithms and passwords such as Kerberos AFS, Hash Lan Manager, DES, MD5, Blowfish, and MySQL, among others. In addition, it’s an open-source, multi-platform tool available for Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. 

AndroRAT

One of the most commonly used hacking apps for Android is AndroRAT. AndroRAT is an abbreviation of Android and RAT, which stands for Remote Access Tool. This tool enables hackers to remotely control almost everything on an infected device, such as call logs, contacts, and even locations via Network/GPS.

In addition, a hacker can also open a URL on the device’s default browser, take a picture, stream videos, and sound from the microphone or any other source. They can also place a call or send a text message.

Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker

Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker is one of the most dangerous hacking tools for iOS. In fact, most government organizations use this tool. The tool was initially designed to help extract scientific information. However, its ability to copy any targeted gadget remotely transformed it into one of the most famous iOS hacking apps. It’s for this reason that the Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker is more of a hacking gadget than it is a programming tool.

With this tool, you can break passwords on an iPhone, decrypt iOS backups using GPU acceleration as well as iCloud Keychain, and files from the iCloud. In addition, this tool can download iCloud backups, sync data with or without an Apple ID password or get data from Microsoft accounts.

Metasploit

Metasploit is an open-source project for pen-testing. It’s one of the most popular hacking tools available today. The Metasploit hacking software can be described as a collection of hacking tools and frameworks that can be used to carry out different tasks. In fact, Metasploit is a must-learn tool for anyone that wants to become a penetration tester.

This software provides users with vital information with reference to known security vulnerabilities and aids in IDS testing strategies, plans, methodologies and the formulation of penetration testing for exploitation. There are three different versions of the Metasploit software:

  • Pro – suitable for IT security teams and penetration testing
  • Community – ideal for infosec students and small companies
  • Framework – excellent for security researchers and app developers 

Metasploit also supports different operating systems such as  Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

NMAP

hacking apps

Network Mapper, simply known as NMAP, is one of the most popular open-source hacking tools. It is mainly used for security auditing and network discovery. Thousands of system admins globally use it to monitor service uptime or host as well as manage service upgrade schedules.

As a tool, NMAP creatively uses raw IP packets to discover which hosts are present on the network, the kind of services the hosts are providing information on, the operating systems as well as the type and version of packet firewalls/filters that the target is using. With NMAP, the admin user can determine whether the associated nodes and network need patching. Also worth mentioning is that the NMAP tool has been featured in almost every hacker movie

Wireshark

Wireshark is free open-source hacking software that lets you analyze your network traffic in real-time. It has a sniffing technology that allows it to detect any network security problems. It’s also effective for solving common network problems.

Wireshark uses its sniffing technology to capture packets of data in the network in real-time and then display them in a human-readable format. This way, it becomes easier to identify any potential problems such as threats, low latency, and vulnerabilities.

THC Hydra

THC Hydra is another software that works in a similar manner to John the Ripper. It’s a very popular password cracker and has a very experienced and active development team behind it.

THC Hydra is a stable and fast network login hacking tool that uses brute-force or dictionary attacks to try different types of login combinations and passwords against any login page. It also supports several sets of protocols such as Mail (IMAP, POP3, etc), LDAP, VNC, SSH, SMB, and Databases. 

SN1PER

Sn1per is a well-known scanner for investigating vulnerabilities. It can easily be loaded into Kali Linux and has a free and paid version. This hacking app is perfect for scanning for vulnerabilities as well as for enumerations.

While Sn1per is an excellent application for ethical hackers who can find vulnerabilities on their servers or networks, black hat hackers can also use it for unsavory purposes.

Cain and Abel Hacking Tool

Cain and Abel (also referred to as Cain) is a very popular hacking tool. It was designed to operate as a password recovery tool for Microsoft Windows. However, off-label, black hat hackers can use it to crack different types of passwords by cracking password hashes or using network packet sniffing.

When used to crack passwords, this tool can use methods such as rainbow table attacks, brute-force attacks, dictionary attacks or cryptanalysis attacks. 

IronWASP

IronWASP is an excellent hacking tool for anyone that is keen on learning and performing ethical hacking. Similar to other tools we’ve mentioned in this list, IronWASP is open source and multi-platform. You can use it to audit public applications and web servers.

What makes this hacking tool appealing is that one doesn’t need to be an expert to use its main features. It’s entirely GUI-based and full scans can be done by just a few clicks.

If these hacking tools have sparked your curiosity about ethical hacking, check out our guide on how to become a hacker.

Top 3 Reasons You Should Only Access the Dark Web If You Have To

in Deep Web
Top 3 Reasons You Should Only Access the Dark Web If You Have To

Visiting the dark web is not illegal, but lots of activities and things outside the bounds of common decency can be found on this side of the internet.

For some users, the dark web provides the opportunity to circumvent local restrictions and autocratic government regimes. But then, there are those who use the anonymity of the dark web to conduct criminal activities. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that on the dark web.

In this article, you will discover three reasons why you should only access the dark web if you have to.

1. You May Catch Malware

Malware

The threats of someone hacking into your computer to steal information is much more rampant on the dark web.

Unlike on the surface web, where your browser warns you when you are visiting an unsafe site, the dark web does not provide such tools. When you visit an onion website on the dark web, you need to understand the potential consequences.

Simple things like downloading a file, playing a song or watching a video can lead to malware infecting your computer. You cannot browse the darknet without worrying about someone accessing your computer illegally even when you have antivirus and anti-malware protection.

If you can access the information you are searching for on the surface web, it is better to get it there. Especially, if you are not a sophisticated tech user.

2. You May Get Scammed

Scams

It should not surprise you that there are lots of scams on the dark web. Just like there are scammers on the surface web, it is a lot worse on the dark web. On this side of the web, most people are anonymous and can easily use ads, forums, and other techniques to take people’s money.

These scams come in several forms, which could include:

  • Selling fake products

Research has shown that some of the products sold – both legal and illegal products – are often fake. The vendor receives the money but delivers substandard products to the buyer, knowing that they would be untraceable.

  • Investment scams

Dark web investment scams promise unbelievable returns to get people to hand over their money. Why anyone would believe a stranger on the dark web is a mystery but apparently, people do fall for them.

  • Charity fraud

They play on people’s emotions and convince them to hand over donations to support fake causes or give relief to victims of a disaster.

  • Work-at-home job scams

Some scammers use ads to lure people into realistic-sounding work-at-home opportunities. Then they request that you pay some money upfront for some educational materials. This is also a common scam found on the surface web.

3. You May Stumble Upon Illegal Content

Illegal content

Be careful what you click on! What you see, cannot later be unseen.

Illegal content is one of the most common things found on the dark web. There is a lot of obscene, illegal, and immoral content available on the underbelly of the internet.

Perhaps most prominently, the dark web is cluttered with illegal pornography. Whatever inhuman sexual act you can think of, you will likely find it on the dark web. According to a report by Wired Magazine, research conducted by the University of Portsmouth found that child abuse-related sites are about two percent of Tor hidden service websites but often get the most traffic.

The dark web also plays a huge role in online piracy. Some illegal onion sites provide pirated music or leaked movies that are not even yet in theatres. Purchasing and downloading pirated movies and music on the dark web is not only illegal it is also very risky as your computer can easily be infected with malware through these type of downloads.

You can visit the dark web if you really need to, but know that there are risks.

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