Should Android Users Really Be Worried About the FBI’s Malware Warnings?

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Oct. 16 2012 4:43 PM

Should Android Users Really Be Worried About the FBI’s Malware Warnings?

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Google's Product Management Director Hugo Barra

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Fans of Android phones often tout their open-source system over the iPhone’s iOS, but that may come at a hidden cost.

The FBI’s Internet crime unit is warning consumers about “various malware” that threaten the Android operating systems on mobile devices. The bureau points specifically to Loozfon and FinFisher, two programs that steal information or spy using scams like phantom text messages. The warning advises Android users to be aware of security settings for every app they download and recommends anti-malware measures.

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How real is the threat to Android users? Tech sites were skeptical. Calling the FBI statement vague, some bloggers noted that the threat is no graver than it would be on an average computer. But at least one observer said the FBI was right to issue the warning, saying, “You underestimate the power of human stupidity.”

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