Tech Guides
Here are five signs that your mobile phone may be infected with malware
By Ian Chee - 26 Jan 2016,12:13pm

Here are five signs that your mobile phone may be infected with malware

Southeast Asia is a region that has been called mobile-first, where there are more users of the Internet on mobile platforms than there are those using PC systems. People are using mobile devices in place of PC systems to do things like consuming multimedia and store personal and sensitive information as well. This is also why we would be at greater risk to threats like malware infection and information theft than anyone else.

With that in mind, here are five signs to look out for if you suspect that your phone has been compromised, courtesy of Parvinder Walia, Sales and Marketing Director at ESET, Asia Pacific:

1.) The system or certain apps behaving strangely – if there hasn’t been a software update for your phone system or its apps in a while, and everything has been working fine, then it should be reason enough for suspicions to be raised when they suddenly have a habit of crashing or displaying error messages. It could be a sign that some malicious code is present within the system and is disrupting normal operating processes of the app in question.

You should also be aware of the apps that you download, and if possible, when you downloaded them. This way, you’ll be able to identify potential culprits from the download date and time and the when you start experiencing problems with crashes and error messages.

2.) You have some unknown entries in your call or message histories – There are a fair number of malware that try to make calls or send messages to premium international numbers for whatever reason, and you’ll be the one paying for these international calls and messages sent.

These are the fastest growing Android malware families in 2015. The one highlighted - the Android/TrojanSMS family - is responsible for this symptom. <br> Image source: ESET.

3.) Your phone bills include actions not made by you – this is related to the previous point, but do you have unknown phone calls and texts charged to your phone bill? Have other charges like app purchases that you’re unaware of? It’s another sign of your device being compromised.

4.) Suspicious data usage – you probably won’t realize how much data you are actually using if you are the kind of person who doesn’t surf the web while on the go often and/or have a monthly quota enough for the entire family. Sometimes, it does pay to keep a closer eye on your actual usage patterns, since malware – spyware in particular – will be using your data to send your information to some shady data center in the middle of nowhere.

If you pay attention to your usual use habits, then you’ll know if your device has been compromised when you see jarring irregularities on your data usage log, like a huge amount of data send or received when you wouldn’t usually be using the phone.

5.) You or your contacts start sending/receiving strange texts – a very common form of spamware from the early days of email, these are not only a means to spread the malware, but can also be a means for the malware to communicate, like receiving commands from its headquarters.

If it’s the former, then obviously don’t open the link in it or download any attached files, and check for files you’ve downloaded or web links you’ve visited recently to see if any of them may be the cause. If the latter, then the malware is usually programmed to either hide it or wipe it, but in the event that it doesn’t do either, then you know that your device has been compromised.