Over the last week there have been a rash of reports that folder with labels mentioning the Chinese search engine Baidu have been appearing on phones. The most obvious and prominent examples have been Sony's new Xperia Z3 series of phones and others running KitKat. Many users (and media outlets) jumped to the conclusion that these files were evidence of spyware, perhaps bolstered by recent and more credible reports of digital spying and hacking linked to the Chinese government.
According to Google, less than one hundredth of a percent of apps out there are both malicious and capable of evading the built-in defenses in both Android and the Google Play Store. But if you really feel like you need a defense from that one-in-100,000 app, a trusted name in software protection has just entered the fray. Malwarebytes, makers of the popular eponymous Windows software, is now offering its services on Android.
I'll admit it, I'm anal about CPU and RAM usage. I'm the kind of person that goes into MSConfig every 6 months to scrape useless startup processes like barnacles off the hull of a ship to keep boot times down and squeeze every last possible increment of free RAM and CPU that I can (insert "Then you should use Linux" joke here) out of my system. If you're like me, then you probably avoid heavy, suite-ized security solutions like the bubonic plague crossed with bird flu.
We've all heard the debates (or been involved in them) about Android malware. Some say it doesn't really exist and is only used as a "scare tactic." Others insist that it's a threat and is becoming more prominent.
Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, Lookout Labs would have us believe that it finds thousands of threats everyday. In order to help visualize this claim, Lookout released a new app to the Market called Mobile Threat Tracker that shows, in almost real-time, detected infections on Lookout-protected devices across the globe.
Antivirus apps are big business on Android. Just run a search on our site and you can see there are tons of big-name apps for our beloved OS that help protect users from malware, track lost devices, and manage privacy (among other things). Millions have downloaded such apps, and sometimes paid fairly large sums (in relation to other apps, anyway) for the protection they offer.
Lookout Mobile Security, a free Android app that secures your device from viruses in addition to backing it up and allowing you to remotely locate it, yesterday launched a premium service that we've been expecting for a while. The Premium version is offered as an optional upgrade to a fully functional free base version for an annual fee of $29.99 or a monthly fee of $3. That's a pretty hefty price to charge, especially since regular, free accounts already have access to so many features, so let's take a look at the extras that you get: