Anna Gragert
February 16, 2016 8:15 pm
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If we were to create a list entitled “Things we do not want,” having everything on our phones disappear would definitely be at the top. Because, let’s get real, our phones make our lives so much easier. And they store a LOT of stuff, like photos and music and messages and passwords and so much more.

Jack Mackie Pictures / Giphy

Terrifyingly, there is a new virus that aims to basically destroy our devices. It’s a form of Android malware called Mazar BOT and let’s just say that it does not sound like something we ever want to encounter – especially since it can invade every crevice of our smartphones with its many hidden features.

To spread the virus, hackers spam their targets with SMS or MMS messages that carry a harmful link. This link is accompanied by a deceitful caption making users believe that they’re installing a new, seemingly safe app with this common name: MMS Messaging. Once the viewer clicks on the link, the file will begin to download and the virus will set up shop in their phone.

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After Mazar BOT has found its host, hackers can change your phone’s settings, send and read your texts, make calls, access the Internet, take over your phone’s keyboard, force your phone into sleep mode, and can even wipe your smartphone’s storage as they demonstrate their evil power.

To top all this horrible stuff off, hackers can also download apps without your permission using this malware. One specific app they may download is an official Android app called TOR, which will allow them to browse the Internet anonymously. Once they get bored doing that, they can also install the Polipo Proxy Android app, so they can spy on you while you’re surfing the web and perform MitM (Man-in-the-middle) attacks that alter your online communication.

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It’s all very terrifying. But. How can we prevent this nightmare from occurring?

According to The Hacker News, Android users can do four things:

1. Ignore links that are sent via SMS or MMS messages.

2. Turn off this option: “Allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store,” which can be found in the Security section under Settings.

3. Make sure your anti-virus app is updated on all of your Android phones.

4. Turn off your WiFi when you’re not using it and avoid hotspots that may not be secure. Also – make sure to alert fellow Android users that this is happening.

Here’s to keeping our storage safe (and away from people who want to invade our virtual space)!

Showtime Networks / Giphy
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