Mobile antivirus is just a myth? I’d say it’s more a “legend”, where the facts have been distorted or exaggerated to create a sensational story. Let’s check this with some facts about the Android for you to better understand these applications.
There is No Virus on Android
A real “antivirus” for mobile devices is not possible given the SDKs (software development kits) and provided access for developers on most mobile platforms. In the area of mobile security for more than a few companies selling what they like to call “antivirus” applications for smartphones. The problem is that the term is being used wrongly and it is not by chance.
With regard to any computing device, is a form of software that can replicate themselves through executable files and documents in order to infect other devices or automatically through a network or through a storage device, such as a flash drive. The ultimate goal of most virus is the corruption of data and/or damage to the system.
In order to detect and mitigate the real viruses, a software solution that needs to be able to function as a root process on a system, something that is just not possible, in most mobile platforms currently in applications typically run in a sandbox environment (no root).
Mobile antivirus solutions rely on detection of application signatures, at best. Take for example the Android antivirus apps on the market. The best you can do is monitor a package to be installed, and then do a simple signature-based scanning.
Antivirus Propagandeiam Fear as A Sales Tool!
Applications that claim to be “antivirus” are only capable of detecting which applications have the potential to be a malware, something that a developer of an application might have let it slip to the software code that is used to steal data or interacting with the device in a bad way. This application is more properly defined as being a Trojan horse (Trojan) or a form of spyware (spying on your device), but given the years of conditioning by security companies “virus” sounds a lot scarier.
Antivirus are Unnecessary When You Have Common Sense
Although these features can be detection marginally useful to the end user, they are unnecessary when the user has the common sense that is: is cautious about which applications that you download and then carefully review the permissions for each application that will be installed. Does that app that you really need to have access to your contacts, call history and location.
The App Stores Already Do A Good Service to Filter Out Suspicious Applications
There were many suspicious applications that have been removed from several online stores automatically. Mobile malware and viruses is deployed using legitimate applications that are downloaded remade outside of traditional applications stores, but most phones have a setting that blocks the installed applications outside of online stores.
Antivirus Live Marketing
Like all good social engineers, marketers know that the general population doesn’t know the true definition of antivirus, nor do they understand that the access that a developer has on a mobile device is different than on their laptops.
The term is ingrained in our heads as meaning “protection” of security companies pushing their “experience” for our equipment. To make matters worse, these companies tend to amplify the threats in your marketing materials through the use of generous amounts of fear, uncertainty and doubt, feeding often baseless statistics of your own “research” for the press to generate hysteria, all the time hoping the journalists don’t check your “facts” before writing a story, something that unfortunately happens with great frequency.
The Reality is Quite Different
Many of the reports of “viruses” on Android are less dramatic in real life than what you find in the media, but it sure makes great headlines. These reports, once you research well are usually from companies that have a horse in the race, since they offer a mobile antivirus product.
False Sense of Security May Leave You with A Virus at the End of the Day
The false sense of security that these applications “antivirus” attempts to provide is can be irresponsible. Promising to protect us from “virus” can be more dangerous than the “virus” itself, as it might convince someone who does not need to install a critical security patch from your supplier, because they may believe that a third-party application is the protecting of malware, when in fact it is not.
I’m saying that there is no such thing as a virus that affects mobile devices? Don’t. In fact, the risk increases in parallel with the growth of the Smartphone market. However, the current applications available in their traditional application store will hardly protect you from real threats, like a site that asks for your personal information to be accessed. Be careful, filter it and so, you warrant that your smartphone or tablet continues to function perfectly.
Do you have any antivirus app on your device? How does it work? Have you helped to get rid of a virus?