As smartphone and tablets steadily replace computers in our daily lives, more hackers are turning their attention to mobile viruses. That's why you hear about new and increasingly dangerous malicious apps appearing weekly.
This week is no exception with the discovering of the "Ghost Push" virus that's infecting Android users worldwide. In fact, according to Cheetah Mobile's CM Security Research Lab, it's infecting as many as 600,000 users per day. So, how does it work?
Ghost Push comes packaged in any of 39 legitimate-looking apps. Once it's on your Android gadget, it roots it and takes full control. If you aren't familiar with the term, "rooting" lets you do anything you want with your gadget, including installing alternative versions of Android.
Once Ghost Push has full control, it turns off your Wi-Fi and then streams ads and downloads unwanted apps. Even worse, its is almost impossible to remove because it's deeply entrenched on your gadget. Anti-virus apps and even a factory reset won't do the job.
Your best bet is to avoid getting it in the first place.
The good news is that none of the Ghost Push apps are available in the Google Play store. So, if you only download apps from there you'll be fine.
You'll also want to make sure your gadget is set to ignore third-party app stores and apps from other sources. The same hackers are probably going to try slipping something into the Google Play store that tries to make your phone download and install a "Ghost Push" infected app. You want your phone to block that attempt.
On your Android gadget, go to Settings>>Security, and make sure "Unknown Sources" is unchecked. You'll now get a warning if an app tries to install outside of Google Play.
If you are using third-party app stores, here are the known Ghost Push apps that you should avoid:
All-star Fruit Slash
Indian Sexy Stories 2
Talking Tom 3
XVideo Codec Pack