Hyderabad: Malware in your smartphones can send obscene messages over WhatsApp and social media sites without your knowledge. While applications like WhatsApp claims to be ad-free platforms, hackers can install malware, or “spy applications,” that can steal data from smartphones.
CEO and founder of Sytech Labs and cyber crime consultant for AP and Telangana police, Sandeep Mudalkar told DC that malware like Trojan Horse (a virus) and backdoor process apps have become a big problem in the country. “These programmes usually send obscene and abusive messages over social media. Recently, the problem has extended to WhatsApp though it has more security features,” he said.
Mr P. Vasudevan told DC that he was a victim of malware. “A week back I received a call from my friend who asked me about the obscene photos shared on WhatsApp groups by me. When I checked I found nothing. But other friends alerted me and sent some screenshots. I have posted apologies on all the groups and explained the problem to the group,” he said.
Mr Mudalkar said that hackers could steal messages, pictures and other data of a mobile user. “Installing unknown applications is the main cause of malware. These programmes are not visible to users. Android users can verify it at Settings-Security-Apps where the malware is displayed as ‘UPreferences’ and iPhone users can identify it if a ‘Jailbreak’ icon appears in the settings.
iPhone software has a powerful firewall but if users click on links sent by unknown sources, the malware might find a way in,” he said. “It is not easy for a hacker to access an iPhone directly, but they can access the iCloud of the user. Mostly unbranded phones with poor rooting options are easily affected,” he said.
Cyber Crime inspector P. Raju told DC that clicking on emails, messages on social media, SMS and WhatsApp messages sent by unknown sources might lead to malware attacks. “Users must download apps only from Google Play Store and Apple Store.” instead of the Internet," he said.