Never download apps that do this.

You’re browsing along on your mobile, and suddenly this screen or one like it pops up. You can’t go back. Sometimes your device begins buzzing. Sometimes there’s an ominous computer-generated voice along with it.

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You can usually quit your browser altogether, but you might lose where you were. If you click “OK”, you might get another warning:

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Click the “Remove viruses” button and you’re taken to the Play Store where you can download the app that “removes viruses.”

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Don’t do this. Just don’t.

If the authors of the application use this technique to terrify you into downloading their app, you can hardly trust software they’ve written.

If this is being done by an affiliate marketer, it could be legitimate, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

Lastly,¬† as a general rule Android devices don’t attract viruses. Many of these “cleaners” are devised to either put real malware on your device or generate more scare messages which will lead you to a paid cleaning service.

Best to stay away from all of them; here’s an excellent article on the subject from ExtremeTech.

Be safe out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Android Phone Virus Scam

I’ve written about this gambit before, but today I encountered an especially egregious example of one.

While perusing an article found at reddit, one of the pages I visited popped up with this:

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My phone started buzzing like crazy, the progress bar went all the way to the right, and i was told that I had a myriad of viruses. All I had to do was download “Psafe” to get my phone clean again.

As I tried to back out of this steaming pile of moose droppings, I was presented with the following sequence of screens, with concomitant “Urgent!” vibrations – in other words, there was no way out:

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If these popups are to be believed, my poor Android had become virus central, and I might as well just throw it away and buy a new one.

But by now you should know that this is all nonsense, designed to trick the unwary and the gullible into downloading Psafe, a supposed protection application from the Play Store. How a legitimate application, if that’s what it is, can resort to such scummy promotion techniques is beyond me – unless it’s the typical drivel put out by affiliate marketers. Be that as it may, tactics like this are enough to sour me on a piece of software forever – and tell others to stay away from it as well.

Another example.

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I really work hard to keep the content of this blog family-friendly. This kind of stuff makes me want to send vulgar open letters to the people who do this, but I’ll have to content myself with putting it out there so other people might also be warned.

If you get junk like this on your Android, it’s not infected. Restart your phone you can’t get out of the loop, and if it’s really bad, reinstall your browser.

And never, ever, use Psafe for anything – a company that stoops to these methods of despicably dishonest advertising does not deserve your business.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

go0dvinez: Malware Central

With uBlock Origin attached to Chrome and a host of other malware protections on my computer, I almost never see ads, spam, malware, popups, popunders, or any such things.

My phone is not so fortunate.

Recently I’ve checked out a couple of things on my Android that had shown up on my Facebook wall, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a blatant effort to redirect, scam, browser-hijack, deceive, and annoy visitors as I experienced today with go0dvines.com (don’t go there.)

When you get a link like [http://go0dvinez.com/bakla-m3t-gayam-t-loko-ka-barok-xyter-iexsa-sonnn-off/], you know something is going to be off in the first place – but that didn’t show up until I did some researching on my desktop. On the phone, as soon as you hit the site, you’re immediately taken on like a six-level-deep redirect, and this is what you see:

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I don’t even want to think about what kind of insidious garbage you wuld be downloading to your handheld device if you followed those links or clicked on the install buttons. One of them completely locks your browser; the only way out is to restart.

This is internet evil in its most distilled form, topped only by ransomware viruses and the unspeakable horrors of the deep web where few of us ever wander.

Stay away from this website, and if you see strange things happening to your phone when you follow a link, get out of there as fast as you can. Legitimate websites will never give you virus popup warnings like this.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.