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No, I don’t mean hummingbird, I mean hummingbad and yes it’s a malware. I know a lot of you might claim ignorance of this particular malware, but it’s fast becoming a source of concern not just because it’s prolific but also because it is a mobile virus. If I ask how many people have installed anti-virus on their smartphones, the results would be in the negative. It’s almost taken for granted that every computer must have an anti-virus installed but when it comes to our smartphones, we ignore this necessity. Well with the rise in mobile viruses, you are taking a big risk if you don’t have an anti-virus installed on your smartphone.

Back to the Hummingbad malware. This malware which was discovered in February has been wrecking android devices. It works by injecting infecting ads and installing fraudulent apps on mobile devices. The malware creates a persistent rootkit, which helps generate fraudulent add revenue and plagues users with malicious apps. Research has shown that it’s majorly KitKat and Jelly Bean Android versions that are susceptible to this virus. Hummingbad’s fake ads are particularly harmful and they trick users into clicking on them by refusing to close. The scary part is that hummingbad can run undetected, rooted users won’t be able to detect if malicious software is being installed as it is done silently and remotely but if you’re not rooted, hummingbad will repeatedly try to get you to install apps.

To prevent being a customer to hummingbad please take the following a steps:

  1. Get an anti-virus app. Having an antivirus app on your mobile device is no longer a luxury but a necessity. I would advise you to install one now before you go on to the next step.
  1. Don’t install apps from unknown sources. It’s better to tread on the side of caution. Please don’t install apps that aren’t available on Google Play Store, you could be installing a malware.
  1. Keep your phone updated. I know it’s not very easy to buy data, but it’s going to be penny wise pound foolish to pinch on data because of cost and them spending more money flashing your phone. Ensure your phone software is always up to date.
  1. Rooting your android device is a bad choice. Hummingbad thrives on rooted devices. It scan if your device has root access and installs apps silently without knowledge if the scan was successful. If you’re not rooted, hummingbad would seek you permission to install a software, though it will do this cunningly by imitating a legitimate app.

In conclusion, make the security of your mobile device a priority.

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This article was first published on 6th July 2016


Muna is a software programmer and developer with a passion for technology.

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