BotPanda: No, It’s Not A Toy

Binary screen A second article on The Trend Micro Trendlabs Second Quarter Security Roundup findings. It reports that one of the active Android-based Internet malware plaguing Android smartphones and other computer devices right now is BotPanda…no, it’s not a toy robot; it’s a virus. Here’s a rundown of it’s attributes.

BotPanda runs on Android-based devices and allows cyber criminals to gain complete control of the device from anywhere on the Internet.

It hides itself so that its detection and removal is very difficult.

It spies on the transactions the device performs.

It also records victims’ phone calls.

Trend Micro has a fix tool called BotPanda Cleaner. I have no affiliation with Trend Micro, nor have I used BotPanda Cleaner.

You might ask why cyber criminal gangs would develop a virus for only one type of smartphone, Android. The answer is

one I’ve discussed on this blog before…the crooks go where there are the largest number of victims.

In this case, and according to the report, “The large Android user base translates to big business not only for Google [Android’s creator] but also for those who constantly target the OS. With more than 400 million active Android-based devices and more than 600,000 apps available on Google Play, the number of attacks has nowhere to go but up. The fact that only 20% of Android-based devices have security apps installed does not help.”

If you own an Android-based device, here are some things you can do to make your use of it safer.

Install an anti-virus tool on your device as soon as possible, and keep it updated.

Be extremely careful that the apps you install on it are safe. Research an app that you’re interested in downloading by reading it’s reviews, searching the Internet for any news about it, and don’t download a new app that’s been untested in the field…wait a while and let others find out if it’s safe before you use it. I’d say at least six months availability and at least 100,000 downloads would be sufficient.

Do not, under any circumstance, use your Android-based device to transact business with your bank. Not to pay a bill, not to transfer funds from savings to checking, nothing…nada, period. I don’t care what the bank’s TV ads say…don’t do it.

Reference: Trend Micro Report

As always, I appreciate your comments on this subject…so please do. And be careful out there…it’s extremely dangerous these days.

Don’t miss an article. If you enter your email address in the Email Subscriptions box on the right column of this page, I’ll send you an email when a new article is posted. I don’t share your email address with anyone…no one; I hate spam too. Please share my site with your friends and family. Thanks.

Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,

Paul

lubicp(at)yahoo.com and if you twitter, follow me @paulsinternet on Twitter.

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1 Comment

Filed under Cybercrime, In the News, Internet, Internet Security, malware, security

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