Can hackers control your phone remotely?
Cybercriminals are constantly developing new, highly effective data-stealing software, such as the Hook malware. Can this software really take control of your Android phone? Let’s find out what it is, what are the risks associated with this malware and how to protect yourself from it, applying the recommendations of cybersecurity specialists on the subject.
New malware traps Android phone users
Recently, a new Android malware has been detected called Hook. This malicious software is sold by cybercriminals with the aim of taking remote control of a targeted cell phone, thanks to the establishment of a VNC, a virtual network of computers. This software is the latest from the creators of Ermac, an equally well-known malware, a banking Trojan that targets Android devices, stealing banking credentials from over 467 banking and cryptographic apps.
Hooks will largely take over the underlying Ermac malware code, while adding new features. Among them, we therefore find the infamous VNC, which allows cybercriminals to take control of trapped phones. Therefore, this allows Hook users to break into the targeted person’s mobile phone, but also to control the interface of this mobile phone, so as to access and utilize the information sought, in particular to make money transactions. .
Among many other features of this malware, there is an option to turn it into a file management tool. This tool allows hackers to create a list with all the files stored on the trapped device, from which they can download the selected files. Hackers would also gain access to the WhatsApp app, and could even send messages on behalf of the phone’s owner, while tracking the user’s precise geolocation.
This app targets Android phones around the world, attacks have been registered in the United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia and France. The malware is now offered for sale for $7,000 per month, and joins other malware with similar functionality, including the Octo and Hydra software.
The best technique to increase your phone security
One of the first steps to increasing your security on the Internet is keeping up to date with the latest techniques and software developed by cyber criminals. It is also recommended to implement some rules, which will help you limit the risk of cyber attacks on your Android phone.
Use a VPN
The first tip is to choose a VPN for Android, ideal for securing your connection and allowing you to surf the web anonymously. You will be able to continue your research, and access all the sites you are interested in, while covering your back thanks to the encrypted connection set up by the VPN. In addition, some VPNs also include features to detect malware, an interesting protection to protect you from downloading such malware.
Be vigilant when downloading new apps
When you download a new app, you are not immune to the possibility that it is a malicious app, which can try to take control of your phone, just like with Hook software. You should therefore make sure that it is indeed an app that you really want to use before taking any unconsidered risks, and that this download should take place on the Playstore, and not on a website you are not familiar with, or one that seems unreliable to you.
Perform a software update
Android updates bring new features to your phone, while fixing security issues that may have been detected in earlier versions of the software. For this reason, it is important to update your phone and its applications as soon as a new version is offered to you, which will allow you to keep your phone up to date, to increase its protection against cyber attacks.
Check permissions and permissions of installed apps
When you install an app on your smartphone, it may ask for different access permissions, allowing it to access your photos, or your contacts for example. Before accepting, you must ensure that these permissions are justified, and that the app really needs these permissions to function. Regularly check the list of permissions granted, and change any permissions you find inappropriate.
Be sure to use a secure Wi-Fi connection
If you are not already using a VPN, make sure to use a secure connection when you want to connect to the Internet. Some cyber criminals may use insecure connections to track you and gain access to your devices. For example, public Wi-Fi networks carry risks, and you’ll need to use mobile data instead of those networks if you want to continue browsing.