Viruses are a form of malware. Short for ‘malicious software’ that affects PCs,tablets and phones. Viruses typically undertake unauthorised activity and attempt to steal, encrypt or delete your personal data.
Some malware has been developed to specifically target mobile devices, with additional capabilities which enable the monitoring and theft of text messages and the making of premium rate phone calls.
Mobile malware most often presents itself as genuine apps, but are in fact malicious clones which exist outside of official app stores or sometimes as apps you may intentionally seek out that unlock certain capabilities or functions within other apps (unlocking game features etc.) again, most often found outside of the genuine apps store, typically referred to as unknown or unofficial sources.
What can mobile viruses do?
Amongst other things, malicious mobile apps can:
- Install itself on your device without your knowledge, typically within an app that looks benign or by copying another app's look and feel
- Steal personal data such as contacts lists, local documents and files, or via more direct overlays and prompts for information, which can appear legitimate, but will communicate directly with fraudulent third parties
- Encrypt your device and demand a ransom before you are able to use your phone again (ransomware)
- Make premium rate phone calls, steal data or send premium cost SMS messages