Anti-Virus or NO Anti-VirusGeneral

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  1. adrynalyne

    adrynalyne Well-Known Member

    Android advises you of the permissions needed to run an app before you install it.

    My advice? Don't skip through those, and you will be fine.

    I mean, if a flashlight app needs access to your messaging, and contacts....I wouldn't install it. Would you?

    What you are describing is a trojan, or keylogger, and not a virus. These are the least detected malicious software. Many antivirus apps do not find them. They do not spread, they do not clone themselves, or destroy the system like a typical virus would. As such, they do not set off alarms to an av app.

    Chances are, even an antivirus app will not save your butt from there. Common sense on the other hand....:)

  2. najaboy

    najaboy Well-Known Member

    No matter how many times it's rebutted, some people are still going to believe in snake oil. To each their own.

    There really is no compelling reason to install AV on the phone, as it is not possible to protect from something that does not yet exist. The current imagined benefit of AV is outweighed by the potential harm that it can cause.
    euph_22 likes this.
  3. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    This. Android has a different architecture than Windows. Windows is intentionally designed so web sites can do fancy, whiz bang stuff with the desktop and programs can freely interact with the OS and the Interweb simultaneously. It lets your computer do amazing things like display web content as part of the desktop, but it presents security holes since it lets programs run with elevated privileges.

    Android isn't like this as it requests your permission to do virtually anything. When you install an app, you've got the long list of stuff the app wants permission to do. When you click Ok, you've granted that app permission to do all of that stuff. I tried to download a live wallpaper app once that wanted permissions to my contacts. Why would a live wallpaper app want to read my contacts? There's no good reason for that, so I didn't download the app.

    I'm not saying that Android is a flawless, rock solid OS, but it's solid enough that if holes are found that allow people to install programs without your consent and without your knowledge (which is basically what viruses do) and then steal your data and/or contacts and send it off somewhere it's going to be pretty anomalous and pretty well publicized as well.

    The threat to Android is simple social engineering. There was a story a while back of hackers who created a program that simply displayed a ribbon on the screen, but that read all the contacts on the phone and sent them off to who knows where. The program claimed to be a preview of the Twilight movie if I remember correctly. Thousands of people downloaded the program, saw the warning that said the program needed full internet access and access to all the contacts on the phone, clicked Ok anyway and installed it. This is social engineering 101 and goes back to the early virus days when someone would hand you a floppy disk and claim it was a copy of Doom or something. This is the real risk on Android, but it's easily avoidable by simply reading the warnings before you install a program.
  4. HellsBells

    HellsBells Member

    OK, so I only use the MArket Place to download any apps and I do read the list of permissions. The trouble is, I don't always know what a lot of the permissions mean, whether it is necessary for the app to have it or not, and whether they might compromise security. A.Nonymous, You mentioned a wallpaper app wanting access to phone contacts, which seems obvious (now you mention it) but some of them are not so clear.

    Eg. 3g watchdog wants access to Phone Calls - what does that mean exactly? Although I am pretty sure 3g watchdog is fine, I might have been worried by that and not downloaded it.
    Aldilko (e-reader) needs access to my location (why? Is it bad if it did?),
    Astrid Tasks needs access to my location, my network comm, my personal info, my phone calls.......... etc etc.

    I would find it really useful to have a list of what these different permissions mean, what the risks are, and examples of why an app might (legitimately) need access to it. I don't want to invite trouble onto my phone, but I don't want to leave it app-less either.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. :)
  5. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Here's an awesome post/article by a member who's an Android developer. It's a great article about what the different permissions mean.
    guildwars, Skipdawg and HellsBells like this.
  6. HellsBells

    HellsBells Member

    Many thanks A.Nonymous. A very useful thread.
  7. DWSFresh

    DWSFresh Active Member

    We all have heard about the Android trojan that was spotted this morning. I may be jumping the gun here, but should I install one of the anti-virus apps on to my Dinc? Does anyone know if one is better than the other?
  8. potterdood

    potterdood Well-Known Member

    I've had lookout installed since I activated my phone. It works good, but this is the 1st known trojan, I don't think many will surface.
    DWSFresh likes this.
  9. necosino

    necosino Well-Known Member

    Not IMO, Just be smart about what you install. If an app requests a permission that seems weird (a media player with access to your messages, in this case) don't install it. It's really that simple :)
    DWSFresh likes this.
  10. cartisdm

    cartisdm Well-Known Member


    Always be smart and pay attention to what has access to your stuff. That logic pretty much applies to everything in life. Follow that and you should be set.
  11. killadanny

    killadanny Well-Known Member

    When the Galaxy S live wallpapers were ripped on xda they wanted access to my contact info, messages, and accounts, No sir. :) just to be safe.
  12. euph_22

    euph_22 Well-Known Member

    I'm just going to point out that Trojans are not viruses. They're different species, (and different phylum, class, order, family and genus too). Anti"virus" programs don't necessarily protect against Trojans. Some, if not most will protect against some know Trojans. But that's not necessarily the case.
  13. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Agree 100%. Look at the permissions the app is asking for and use some common sense. I tried to install a board game app a while back that wanted access to my contact list. There's no reason for that so I didn't install the app.
  14. SynisterWolf

    SynisterWolf Well-Known Member

    +1 people just need to watch what they are doing and everything will be ok.
  15. euph_22

    euph_22 Well-Known Member

    +1, and if you're unsure about why it needs a permission email the dev. And be extra leery about non-market apps.
  16. piet.paaldje

    piet.paaldje New Member

    I was one of the first to buy a phone with windows CE.
    Every told me there where (at that point) no virusses for Windows CE but ....

    Then I received a e-mail (connected via Wifi) and opend it. It was only rubish (I thought).

    I month later a received my phone-bill. Over $ 300. I phone-dialer was installed on my device. I search the internet and didn't find anything about a dialer on the windows CE device. The only prove was the bill (> $ 300) and the service I removed from my device.

    Some will tell "oke, but that was windows ce".
    I now own a Android 2.2 device and a know that again there will be people that tell me "there is no mallware for you device".

    But, I ALWAYS use a mallware protector. Because nobody is telling you that there is mallware for you Android and some believe there isn't any mallware for android doesn't mean you have to take the risk, especialy when there is free anti mallware.
  17. wayrad

    wayrad Well-Known Member

    I can't help wondering whether these "antivirus" apps aren't so much snake oil. Obviously they aren't really antivirus per se (heck, there aren't any Android viruses to write definitions for, so how can you watch for them? Antivirus doesn't work by magic), and the fact that they are marketed as something they aren't doesn't inspire me with confidence right off the bat. And the app descriptions seem to appeal to fear rather than actually explaining what the apps do and how they do it (well, except for things like location/remote wipe capabilities which you can buy elsewhere, minus the snake oil). Makes me wonder.
  18. true

    true Well-Known Member

    agreed with most.

    i dont see the need to run anti-virus on the incredible especially considering the OS is linux based. not some windows type trash. people have been conditioned to think that because these phones operate like
    computers, theyre susceptible to the same troubles.

    i use lookout in the background only to locate my phone should it ever get lost or stolen. its ultra hidden :]

    i removed the notification in the bar
    removed the actual notification bar
    removed lookout from my app drawer (all with launcherpro plus)

    it kills battery a bit quicker leaving gps on all day, but the peace of mind is a good trade-off.
    in terms of anti-virus. no way. just know what youre doing and youre good.
  19. crankshot89

    crankshot89 New Member

    possibly a silly question... i'm not too computer smart and was wondering: could i get a virus or something similar from transferring an mp3 from my computer to my droid x via usb?

    i realize vendors such as itunes music store or amazon mp3 would never distribute viruses... but is it a possibility from other "less legal" sources?
  20. grindle

    grindle Member

    Is there any way to check what permissions are needed AFTER you've installed a program? Probably a stupid question... I read this thread and the linked article just a little while ago and now actually understand how it all works.

    Just hoping there isn't anything wrong with Edwin, Snesoid, or Advanced Task Killer...
  21. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    You can go into Manage Applications, click on an app and scroll down to see the permissions. There's a lot wrong with Advanced Task Killer, but that's another topic.
  22. true

    true Well-Known Member

    ATK is fine if only used when needed and not constantly running in the background.
  23. najaboy

    najaboy Well-Known Member

    It is most assuredly snake oil. At best, it will do nothing more than just sit there and waste space. Conversely, it's just as likely that it will dick up your phone. For some, the placebo effect seems to be worth the risk.
  24. Newbie555

    Newbie555 New Member

    What does missing device mean???
  25. euph_22

    euph_22 Well-Known Member

    It lets you track the device remotely (although you really need gps on to make this useful, you can't count on the Verizon/Google location to be precise enough), make it sound an alarm (once you track the phone to a crowded restaurant you've never been in and/or you can't figure out exactly where you left it) and the ability to remotely wipe/lock the device (paid version only I think)

    Oh, and just a quick comment on the GPS. It only uses power when it's getting a location fix. IE if you're using maps or Nav. Unless you have something constantly polling the GPS, it shouldn't be using any power. I leave mine "on" all the time with out any big battery issues.

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