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  • FIRST POST
    • pennypincher2013
    • By pennypincher2013 1st Dec 17, 7:14 PM
    • 245Posts
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    pennypincher2013
    Antivirus software for tablet?
    • #1
    • 1st Dec 17, 7:14 PM
    Antivirus software for tablet? 1st Dec 17 at 7:14 PM
    Can anyone recommend antivirus, malware, spyware etc. protection for my Amazon Fire 7 please? I've never owned a tablet before.
Page 2
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 5th Dec 17, 11:44 AM
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    • 2,072 Thanks
    AndyPix
    ^^ Good in what respect ?


    What viruses has it detected/removed from your phone or tablet ?


    You do realise that these "antivirus software" CANNOT scan the file system of a phone or tablet ??!!
    You do realise that it CANNOT scan any processes that are running
    You do realise that it CANNOT detect the behaviour of other applications or know what they are doing ??


    **** please read the above again because it is very important ****


    One is left wondering what it is that they CAN actually do


    One is wondering how on earth these things would be able to detect "viruses"


    One is left with a distinct taste of snakeoil in the back of their throat.


    That's if one isnt tricked by the flashy user interface and clever wording of course
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • wongataa
    • By wongataa 5th Dec 17, 1:46 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 619 Thanks
    wongataa
    One is left wondering what it is that they CAN actually do
    Originally posted by AndyPix
    They can make you battery drain faster!
    • ballyblack
    • By ballyblack 5th Dec 17, 2:11 PM
    • 3,471 Posts
    • 1,781 Thanks
    ballyblack
    and make you feel better like all snake oil
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 5th Dec 17, 3:32 PM
    • 7,772 Posts
    • 5,577 Thanks
    esuhl
    What viruses has it detected/removed from your phone or tablet ?


    You do realise that these "antivirus software" CANNOT scan the file system of a phone or tablet ??!!
    You do realise that it CANNOT scan any processes that are running
    You do realise that it CANNOT detect the behaviour of other applications or know what they are doing ??
    Originally posted by AndyPix
    As I mentioned above, MalwareBytes detected some malware in a Lego game I downloaded from Amazon's app store.

    I'm just wondering how it managed to do this...? :-/

    I've never had anything else flagged by anti-malware apps on Android.
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 5th Dec 17, 4:21 PM
    • 3,000 Posts
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    AndyPix
    As I mentioned above, MalwareBytes detected some malware in a Lego game I downloaded from Amazon's app store.

    I'm just wondering how it managed to do this...? :-/ .
    Originally posted by esuhl

    Although it cant scan the file system, it IS possible for the "AV app" to collect a list of other installed apps names. Only the names of the apps.


    What has happened here, is that the guys at malwarebytes, have identified the Lego app as containing unwanted behaviour, (note : by analysing its outputs using a PC, not a phone or tablet) and added it to a text file of app names that the malwarebytes app should flag.


    Thats it.


    The malwarebytes app has done no investigation in its self (nor can it), it has just been told that this app name is nefarious. And by this point it would have been removed from the play store.


    Thats why i say - the most (only) useful thing that these softwares can do is to tell you that you should not tick the "install from unknown sources" box
    Last edited by AndyPix; 05-12-2017 at 4:24 PM.
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 5th Dec 17, 4:32 PM
    • 1,888 Posts
    • 2,667 Thanks
    Robisere
    What I do know after reading this, is that I am going to remove the "Powercleaner" app from my phone. It is upposed to "clean" junk, boost memory and "clean" apps by hibernating them until you open them again. It also has an AV component, which this Topic seems to prove, is garbage.

    How useful, or not, is "Powercleaner"? It seems to be gathering more and more ads to be ignored, with every pass. Perhaps its only use is to earn the money from ads, for LionMobi?

    Malwarebytes is part of a business which has to expand and has very little room to grow. away from the dwindling desktop/laptop market.
    There may be more than one way to skin a cat.
    But the result is always inedible.

    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 5th Dec 17, 4:40 PM
    • 3,000 Posts
    • 2,072 Thanks
    AndyPix
    Perhaps its only use is to earn the money from ads, for LionMobi?
    Originally posted by Robisere

    You got it .. Oh and it will drain your battery quite nicely to boot ..


    ES file explorer is quite usefull to remove junk files.
    But dont leave it installed just for that purpose - use it then remove it


    The best way to "boost" your phone - is to have as little as possible installed
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 7th Dec 17, 11:10 AM
    • 636 Posts
    • 316 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    Interesting thread.

    I cannot argue against posters such as Andy etc. (on the technical aspects) who have far more experience than me of Android. However would add the following comments and questions.....

    Sandboxing in theory at least would seem to be a way to reduce problems but does it entirely eliminate them? As with Macs it would seem not. There have been issues with Macs and as posted on here people have had problems with Android. The source of these problems (such as a design flaw or added by a seller) really is irrelevant. What is important is they CAN occur based upon reports. Though admittedly seemingly not as extensive as on windows platforms.

    If one has lots of information that needs to be kept secure should one not take precautions by being sensible and adding protection?

    Stated in this thread is that it is impossible for apps to protect against malware. How so? Why can these apps not access data when something like ES File Manager can do?

    I'd do not write to say the posters that maintain 'protection apps are useless' are incorrect. Nor do I maintain that users ought not be sensible but when many users are not tech savvy enough to select correct options let alone understand them then that becomes a flaw in itself does it not?

    If posters are willing, it might be useful to readers to explain more how things are needed or not, justify statements or give greater detail for the uninitiated.
    As an example it is often writ that Windows Defender is all one needs for Windows (without any great justification of that) and running Malware bytes once malware has been picked up is a good solution. If first was all that is required second would be redundant?

    Currently I prefer to try and play safe using protection products (until proven otherwise or shown to be superfluous) a little extra battery drain I can cope with.

    Further input would be really appreciated.
    • wongataa
    • By wongataa 7th Dec 17, 11:54 AM
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    wongataa
    Stated in this thread is that it is impossible for apps to protect against malware. How so? Why can these apps not access data when something like ES File Manager can do?
    Originally posted by Heedtheadvice
    ES File Manager is just a file browser. It doesn't really access data in any way. It just lets you see the user accessible parts if the file system like any other file browser app does as well.
    • wongataa
    • By wongataa 7th Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 619 Thanks
    wongataa
    You got it .. Oh and it will drain your battery quite nicely to boot ..


    ES file explorer is quite usefull to remove junk files.
    But dont leave it installed just for that purpose - use it then remove it
    Originally posted by AndyPix
    ES File Explorer used to be good before it was bought by a scummy company who loaded it with invasive ads and bloatware such as 'enhancing performance functions'. There are other file browsers available that aren't so dubious.
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 7th Dec 17, 12:17 PM
    • 3,000 Posts
    • 2,072 Thanks
    AndyPix
    Interesting thread.

    I cannot argue against posters such as Andy etc. (on the technical aspects) who have far more experience than me of Android. However would add the following comments and questions.....

    Sandboxing in theory at least would seem to be a way to reduce problems but does it entirely eliminate them? As with Macs it would seem not. There have been issues with Macs and as posted on here people have had problems with Android. The source of these problems (such as a design flaw or added by a seller) really is irrelevant. What is important is they CAN occur based upon reports. Though admittedly seemingly not as extensive as on windows platforms..
    Originally posted by Heedtheadvice

    Threats CAN and DO occur, yes definitely.
    These threats (the real ones) occur in the form of vulnerabilities that are discovered in the core android system, such as buffer over runs etc and these can be exploited by specially crafted apps.
    However, NO AV solution is able to stop this (Explained later).


    The ONLY thing one can do to mitigate this is to keep the phones OS updated to a version where this vulnerability is patched.
    Bear in mind, that as soon as these vulns are discovered, the google play store police set off scanning all the apps on the play store to see if they are trying to leverage this vuln and remove them if they do.
    So this keeps you reletively safe and is why we always say dont install from unknown sources.
    If one has lots of information that needs to be kept secure should one not take precautions by being sensible and adding protection?.
    Originally posted by Heedtheadvice

    Theoretically yes - of course - but there is no protection to add against this !!

    Stated in this thread is that it is impossible for apps to protect against malware. How so? Why can these apps not access data when something like ES File Manager can do??.
    Originally posted by Heedtheadvice

    Ok we need to diferentiate between malware and viruses here.


    Malware in android land, is basically an app, that does stuff that you are not intending it to do.
    It might send premium sms in the background, it may make phone calls in secret, it may upload your gps data to a shady server somewhere, it may display you all kinds of ads etc.
    Now it can do all this stuff, not because it is exploiting system files, not because it is hooking into your other applications , no.


    It can do this stuff for one reason.


    Because YOU have installed it, and YOU have given it permission to do so.


    Fair enough - you may have been tricked, because the app wont have advertised that it is going to do this stuff.
    It will have been a "performance booster" or a "battery analyser" or a "wifi booster" or any other kind of rubbish that these stuff hide behind.
    And often, they wont start to exhibit their nefarious behaviour for a couple of weeks, that way they dont immediately become the prime suspect whan your phone starts acting flakey.


    What i would class as a virus here is a program that gets onto your phone, not by you downloading it intentionally, but by perhaps visiting a specially crafted webpage that exploits one of the vulnerabilities discussed above. These things ARE something that would be worrying, because once these things are on your phone and have ACCESS TO THE SYSTEM FILES, they CAN start to do things like log key entries, scan passwords and all the nasty stuff that a virus in the common sense of the word on a windows computer can do.


    Now the reason that AV is useless , is that the AV is simply an app.


    In android land, apps DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to system files.
    Its as simple as that.


    So as i have posted above, they can not scan for heuretics, can not scan for virus or malware patterns, not scan for rogue processes or analyse the behaviour of what other apps are doing.


    The ONLY thing they can do, is see a list of installed app NAMES, and check that against a list that someone has put together of apps that have been reported to exhibit unwanted behaviour (which will have been removed from the play store anyway at the point of joining this list)


    They make you believe that they are "scanning your phone" and stuff but it is absolutely not true.
    (OK, they may scan your personal files for known APK names - but how simple is it for me to change the name of my rogue APK - so again , useless)


    You ask why these AV apps cant access files when ES explorer can .
    NONE of these apps can access SYSTEM files.


    Think of it like your "my documents" folder on your windows PC.
    Apps can acces these files (IF you give them permission to during install)
    But what good is that ?


    Apps arent installed to this folder, system files that could (or could not in android case) become infected are not accessible to any apps - AV or otherwise


    The way in which android works - all its system files and inner workings are totally hidden away from the user (AND OTHER APPS). So no rogue app can infect them and no AV can scan them
    And there it is - you can see how useless AV on android is


    In short, the only "viruses" that do actually pose a threat, unfortunately, by design, no "AV app" can do anything about . NOT A SAUSAGE


    I'd do not write to say the posters that maintain 'protection apps are useless' are incorrect. Nor do I maintain that users ought not be sensible but when many users are not tech savvy enough to select correct options let alone understand them then that becomes a flaw in itself does it not?
    .
    Originally posted by Heedtheadvice

    Yes i agree - it does
    Android should allow more granular control over the permissions that are granted to each app.


    But the onus should also be on the user
    For example : Why does this "battery analyser" request permissions to access my contacts list ?
    Or make phone calls ?
    Think about it.

    Currently I prefer to try and play safe using protection products (until proven otherwise or shown to be superfluous) a little extra battery drain I can cope with.
    .
    Originally posted by Heedtheadvice

    Thats fair enough - if it makes you feel better then of course you are free to use whatever apps you like. But i just want everyone to be informed and KNOW what they are using


    We are conditioned to think about security on PC's these days, and that is a good thing.
    But the makers of these AV apps are levvying that fear into making you want to install their apps on your phone or tablet when it is completely unnecessary - solely for monitory gain.
    And that is a bad thing


    The big players, use these apps basically to promote their PC cousins and make you feel warm and fluffy whilst under their care - they have a business and they want to protect that. Its basically like advertising. They are benign


    The less big players (phone booster and protector etc) are much more nefarious.
    And what is being advertised as an app to help your phone is most often just a platform to feed you adds and in the worst cases exhibit the exact behaviour that you are wanting to avoid.


    I hope that clears a few things up for you


    Perhaps this should be made into a sticky as im definitely not typing all that again !!
    Last edited by AndyPix; 07-12-2017 at 4:42 PM.
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 9th Dec 17, 9:36 PM
    • 636 Posts
    • 316 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    Great post Andy, thanks.
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