Where is the ware?

By Balamurugan Selvaraj Published on Jun 17, 2017 03:42 PM IST

What do you think about online advertisements? Are they safe?

The activities we do in cyber world are paid. Especially, if you're a regular internet user, you have to know that, you're the one, who generate revenue to online advertising agencies and some cyber crooks.

If you're a regular reader of cyber-security news, you might have heard about the term 'Adware'. Adware is type of malware designed by cyber criminals to infect vulnerable computers and generate revenue through Phishing advertisements.

The horrible thing is about the presence of these adwares in Google's official playstore and Apple store. According to recent cyber security report, more than 60 per cent of apps available on playstore contain malwares, banking trojans. Unfortunately, many of those apps had millions of downloads by the smartphone users. As soon as you install an legitimate app from the playstore, it pop-ups with multiple advertisements on the screen.

Sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly, users may click malicious advertisements. But the revenue is not alone generated through with the display of advertisements, but also with the data stolen from the smartphone.

Many adwares install silently on smartphone and collects user data that helps to provide relevant ads.

For example, if a user visits a particular category of websites and apps continuously, the malware installed on the smartphone silently collects that data and transmits it to actors or cybercriminals, when the user activates internet connection.

From then onwards, your smartphone displays advertisements based on the likes. Then what, the individual's privacy goes off. Even Checkpoint cybersecurity researchers once said, "It is quite unusual to find an actual organisation behind the mobile malware, as most of them are developed by purely malicious actors."

HOW CAN WE AVOID?

It's incredible to answer this question. But there are simple steps to avoid from infection. Always maintain stable and trusty antivirus in your smartphone or desktop. Do regular scanning and kill anonymous apps from the smartphones. Importantly, restrict the usage of giving permission to legitimate apps. Also, avoid installing apps from third party sites and apps containing ads from Google playstore or apple store.