Back in 2010, Blackberry users were subjected to a terrible Trojan virus that carried the moniker: ZueS. ZueS was frightening because it was very difficult to detect. Oftentimes, users had no inclination their phones had even been hacked. They were clueless, even as their data was being transmitted to thieving hackers. (More specifically, the virus was designed to steal a user’s bank account information.)
Although ZueS attacks subsided sometime in 2012, it’s still possible to contract a virus on any smartphone, including new Blackberries. Blackberry has increased virus protection, but sometimes that’s not enough. Hackers are always looking for new ways to bypass security and infect phones. In an effort to curb this hacking, the following information is provided.
Don’t Download Strange Apps
Sometimes, hackers will place a horrible virus within a seemingly innocent application. ZueS was contracted in this manner. To make matters worse, ZueS was capable of removing itself from the list of applications, and therefore made it impossible for users to simply remove the application and move on with their lives.
In the past, Blackberry has warned against out-of-box applications, but people want to play games and download the latest apps. If you’re set on downloading user-created applications, you can determine their worthiness by paying attention to reviews, and the length of time the app has been available. Reviews should be wholly positive, and the application should be available for at least a year before you download it. Furthermore, never download applications from websites. Instead, always use your device’s app-store.
Know The Warning Signs
Unfortunately, some malicious apps won’t have any warning signs. Or, the warning signs are so vague, users don’t realize they’ve been hit with a virus until their bank account has been drained of funds. Despite this awful reality, there are some things you can watch out for.
– Your device is overusing data, such as 10MB or more when you’re running standard apps
– Quickly draining battery life
– Odd charges on your cell phone bill (or PayPal account/bank account/etc.)
– Your antivirus suddenly stops running (or other protection programs become mysteriously disabled)
Never Leave Your Phone Unattended
Jealous lovers, so-called friends, and other untrustworthy parties may hack your phone when you leave the room. There are thousands of apps designed to spy on your phone. Leaving your phone unattended, even just to make a trip to the bathroom, could result in hacking.
“If you don’t have physical security over your phone all the time, a jealous partner can easily install spyware or spy tools, such as FlexiSPY and SpyBubble,” reports Sean Sullivan, a security advisor for F-Secure labs.
Clean a Virus as Soon as it’s Detected
It’s important to deal with a virus as soon as it’s determined you have one. Also, it’s a good idea to report the virus if you’re using a company phone. Small businesses, with networked mobile phones, are very susceptible to wide-range hacking. (Once you’ve cleared your Blackberry of the virus, you’ll want to download reliable virus protection to ensure you’re not infected again.)
Here are some steps to take to remove a virus from your device:
– Delete the infected file (if you can find it)
– Backup your phone (contacts, documents, etc.)
– Scan your backup with virus protection software, such as Trend Micro
– Wipe the phone using the code: Blackberry
– Hard-reset the phone
– Download your backed up files to the phone
Once you’ve cleaned the virus, you’ll want to change important passwords – just in case. Change all financial passwords, and then change passwords to social networking sites. After you’ve followed these steps, you’ve likely rid yourself of the virus.