Modern technology has brought about many innovations to our lives, and one good example is the smartphone. Back in the day, most mobile phones only had the function of calling and texting. Nowadays, smartphones have an operating capacity that’s on par with high-end computers.

Unfortunately, this is also where smartphones are at a disadvantage. Since computers can get malware, even smartphones can get them as well. Mobile malware can also be obtained the same way in computers, which is through emails.

Hackers pick smartphones because they are relatively easy targets. With this in mind, you need to be able to spot mobile malware. Read on below to learn more.


More about Mobile Malware

As the name suggests, mobile malware is malicious software that can bring down the operating systems of smartphones. Similar to how they work in computers, mobile malware is used to steal confidential data from the user.

As time went by, malware has evolved into more sophisticated forms, which makes it pretty hard to tell if they are actually malicious or not.


Types of Mobile Malware

There are many types of malware for mobile devices, all of which can steal your data if you unknowingly let them in your phone. These include:

  • Spyware

Spyware is perhaps the most common malware known to everyone. It masquerades as a legitimate app or document, connecting with email and other apps that house personal and confidential information. Spyware can do many things, but the most well-known is stealing your username and password and sending this information to someone else.

This is also something that marketers use to expose you to mobile adware, also known as ‘madware.’ Madware takes over a mobile phone’s browser and automatically modifies it to show ads. Aside from that, they also contain tracking pixels that help gather data for marketing purposes.

  • Trojans

Trojans are in some ways similar to Spyware, but they work a little differently. The term ‘trojan’ comes from the same Trojan Horse used to enter the ancient city of Troy, which led to the Greeks’ victory during the Trojan War.

In true Trojan Horse fashion, a trojan malware disguises itself as a legitimate app. Once the user opens this app, the malware is activated. A trojan infects the operating system by deactivating other apps or freezing the device itself. Mobile trojans are primarily used to mine for banking information stored in mobile phones.

One example of a well-known trojan is Zeus, also known as Zbot. The trojan uses keylogging to get around the two-factor authentication (2FA) security measure made explicitly for smartphones.

  • Mobile Phishing

Mobile phishing is a more sophisticated version of phishing that’s typically used in computers. It makes use of SMS messages to put malware in a smartphone. The SMS messages contain embedded links that trick users into clicking on them.


Security for Operating Systems

Since smartphones are being specifically targeted, it often becomes a question of which is better between Android and iOS.

You might think that Android users are being attacked because of the large number of its users, but that’s not the case. Android phones are targeted because they use an open-source system, allowing cybercriminals to modify the OS, creating security issues.

On the other hand, iOS is pretty secure—but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be cracked. There is malware that’s specifically made to target iOS devices, such as XCodeGhost. This is just further proof that no operating system is safe from cyber-attacks.


Protecting Your Smartphone

The best way to protect yourself from mobile malware is to update your device and apps to the latest version. The protection lies in updated security patches, ensuring that your device is safeguarded against malware attacks.

Aside from that, it also requires a little bit of tech literacy. You should always try to discern whether or not a link or program looks like the real thing. If not, then it’s most likely malware.


Having malware on your smartphone can be a pretty scary thought, especially since you use it for many things—including financial transactions. It’s crucial to know mobile malware at first glance to avoid being troubled later on. From there, you’ll be able to find ways to protect your smartphones from such dangers.

FraudWatch is a digital brand protection company that offers mobile app protection services. We understand the need for secure smartphones, which is why we’re here to help you beef up your phone’s security to protect yourself from cyber-attacks. Contact us today to learn more!