By James Edwards

Symantec researches recently found a Windows threat that tries to infect Android devices. The threat involves malware, but it can be prevented.

If you own an Android device, you may not have been thinking much about protection from malware. Unfortunately, just like any other type of computer-related technology, your device might be at risk for attack. This is a concern for many people with these devices. Symantec researchers note this is the first time they are aware of Windows malware that has been specifically designed to infect Android devices. Up until recently, it had been only Windows threats designed for computers that try to also infect certain Android devices.

Understanding Malware. Unfortunately, as the range of internet-ready devices continues to expand, so does the risk of malware and other attacks and threats. Whether you are using it for work, pleasure, or both, you may have assumed that your Android device was fairly safe from this kind of threat. Until recently, there weren’t many reasons to assume otherwise. Unfortunately, attackers have caught on to the Android network and are searching out vulnerable networks and devices to attack. It is important to know what malware is and some of the ways it is commonly spread in order to avoid becoming a victim.

Malware is short for “malicious software.” Unlike legitimate software, malware has been specifically designed to access or damage a computer as sneakily as possible. Many times, the owner of the computer or the person who is using it does not realize that damage is being done until it is too late. Malware comes in a variety of forms, from viruses and worms to spyware and malicious codes that break into a computer.

You may be wondering why someone would attempt to launch a malware attack in the first place. It turns out that malware creation has continued to expand, largely because of the new and innovative types that are created on a daily basis, as well as the fact that a large amount of money can be made through organized internet crime. At one point, malware was created with the intent of performing vandalism and pranks. Over time, it led to destruction of victimized machines. In today’s society, a large portion of malware is created in exchange for profit. Some common areas include advertising, spreading email spam, using spyware to steal sensitive and private information, and to extort money.

Both computers and related devices are at an increased risk of becoming victims of malware. In many instances, there are weaknesses or loopholes in the devices that have been targeted. Some common examples include defects in the operating system design and having all computers or devices run on the same operating system. Other risk factors include unknowingly giving staff members too much permission on the devices, or simply using a popular operating system.

What is Droidpak?. Symantec researchers were surprised to come across Droidpak, a new Android banking malware that can install itself on mobile devices through vulnerable PCs. Specifically, the program is a Trojan that is designed to exploit the latest Windows operating system to get itself onto the victim’s computer.

As soon as Droidpak has accomplished its goal, it reaches out to a remote command and control server. Ultimately, as Symantec Security Response says, the remote server that Droidpak initially contacted sends a specific configuration file back to the Windows computer that the malware program had infected.

The configuration file that the remote server sends references a website, which the infected computer then attempts to connect to. Once the connection has been successfully made, an Android malware file will begin to download, ultimately compromising the infected computer. In addition, the remote server sometimes downloads certain tools, such as the Android Debug Bridge, to install additional malware for an Android device that is connected to the infected computer via a USB cable.

Protecting Against Droidpak. For optimal protection, your device should have the most recent security programs and software in place. For instance you can install virus protection software like Immunet, Malwarebytes, F-Secure etc which can be downloaded easily and helps to keep malware at bay. Some critical features of these softwares include comprehensive scans, active protection mode, and the ability to closely examine applications when they start to run on your computer.

If you own an Android device, or any other Windows-operated mobile device, it’s time to get serious about protecting it against malware attacks. A good way to do this is to install good quality and highly effective security programs and tools. Remember to use caution when using the internet, as many malware attacks are spread through tools such as social media websites and email attachments. If you think your device has been attacked, stop what you are doing and make an effort to locate and remove the malware before it damages your system.

James Edwards has been associated with the IT industry for the past five years. He is working as a tech support specialist in NYC. Besides system troubleshooting, he loves to write articles related to computer security and educates people about cloud antivirus software in order to keep their PCs safe from malware and viruses.