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DDoS Attack on Mobile Apps – How to Stay Safe? – Toolbox

DDoS Attack on Mobile Apps – How to Stay Safe? – Toolbox

Last year’s predictions for this year had foretold that there would be an increase in the number of DDoS attacks. Unfortunately, this prediction has been slowly translating into reality as incidents of DDoS attacks on mobile apps spike. Not to mention, the intensity of damage has also multiplied. On top of that, DDoS attacks have found new targets – mobile devices and applications. As a preventative measure, it is always best to take steps to keep your device safe.
In this post, I will cover these precautionary steps. Before proceeding, though, let’s be clear on what a DDoS attack is.

What is a DDoS Attack?

A DDoS attack stands for Distributed Denial of Service attack. It is a cyber-attack type in which multiple devices or computers are infected with malware. This malware pretends to be a network of bots and attacks a server that, in turn, becomes unusable. Just as a website, mobile apps are at an increased risk of DDoS attacks. Applications such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Uber, to name a few are all vulnerable to such malware infections.

There are two fundamental reasons behind this. First, it isn’t very challenging for attacks to profile app users. This antes up the probability of successful DDoS attacks on apps.  Second, mobile applications are often not secure. Numerous applications with sensitive data such as banking and e-commerce apps are susceptible to malware attacks.

A study by Appvigil, an automated mobile app security scanner concluded that 98% of the leading e-commerce apps are ill-protected against security threats. A case in point of a DDoS attack that wreaked havoc is that of the WireX botnet. It was one of the biggest attacks on the Android system that affected 300 apps available on the Google Play Store. When folks installed the infected app, WireX added that mobile users into a collective network that sent junk traffic to some websites in an attempt to bring them down, rendering them unusable.

How to Stay safe From a DDoS Attack on Your Mobile Apps?

The adage, “prevention is better than cure” most definitely rings true in this case. The most important step you can take, however, is educating yourself and learning security measures for mobile app development. Let’s now walk you through some of the steps you can take to safeguard your mobile apps from malware attacks:

1. Download applications from trustworthy sites only

Your best bet is to ensure that you are downloading apps from reputable sites only. Don’t rely on third party sites for downloading apps. Also, get a mobile security app for your phone so that you can protect yourself from unwanted malware, which can enter your phone by first affecting Google Play.

2. Install apps from trusted developers only

Although we have discussed that it is best to keep third party sites for app downloads at bay, it is also important to note that malware can attach to apps from Google Play Store. This happens only occasionally, but it is best to be on the safe side. In this regard, install apps from verified developers. Don’t install applications that may appear to be clones of other popular apps. Moreover, uninstall any applications that don’t serve the purpose they claim to be developed for. That said, only download apps that you need. Refrain from downloading and keeping apps that are of no use to you.

3. Do your homework before downloading an app

It is crucial for you to read an app’s reviews before downloading it. Another quick task to do is going through its ratings. Both reviews and ratings will quickly give you an idea of how well the app performs. On top of that, if any user(s) face malware, they are likely to share their experience in a review. Podium highlights that 3.3 stars are the minimum rating for consumers to engage with a product. You can follow suit when looking at ratings for an app. What’s more, look up the app on Google. If there’s nothing in the reviews and rating section, then you may gather something from the browser and save yourself from the trouble of a DDoS attack on applications.

4. Keep your operating system and apps updated

It’s not uncommon to press, ‘later’ when an update alert pops on your phone screen. Delaying the update, however, it is not a good idea. Manufacturers and app developers work with security companies, identifying issues, and taking security measures. Any loopholes detected or new security measures added are pushed towards you via these updates. It is, therefore, important that you don’t shove these updates to the backburner.

5. Install an anti-virus application

App stores are packed with numerous options for antivirus apps. Download a trusted antivirus app on your phone so that it can protect you from malware attacks. Don’t forget to run scans on your apps and files regularly. If you tend to forget, set up automatic scans that do their job in the background.

6. Pay attention to routine security audits

This applies to enterprises rather than individuals. As an individual, you need an anti-malware app on your device to safeguard your apps from a DDoS attack. On a larger scale, however, you need to select a mobile app security solution provider. These service providers are particularly, dedicated to meeting your mobile security needs. Before collaborating with any service provider, though, it is essential that you do your research. Google mobile application security solution providers and visit their sites to learn about each. Read their reviews to learn of their services before finalizing a name. It’s best to ask for recommendations from your circle, though. All these steps are critical for ensuring you work with efficient security providers so that your money doesn’t go to waste.

Summing up

In short, your mobile applications are vulnerable to DDoS attacks just as websites are. To trim the odds of an attack though, you need to make sure that you download only apps that you need, getting them from only reliable names and never from a third party site. Not to mention, install an antivirus app and don’t neglect the required app and operating system updates.

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