Celebrating 10 years of Avast Mobile Security

Agathe Neulet 6 Dec 2021

Android device protection never rests

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Avast Mobile Security (AMS). We’re so proud to have helped Android users improve their phone’s security, privacy, and performance for an entire decade! 

A little history: When AMS originally launched in December 2011, it was a free product that included the following features:

  • Virus Scanner - Monitored the files on your phone
  • Privacy Advisor - Determined which apps had access to your phone
  • Application Management - Let you close apps or get system information from them
  • Web Shield - Watched for malicious activities while browsing
  • Call Blocker - Blocked unwanted calls and texts
  • Firewall - Blocked access from Wi-Fi to certain apps
  • Anti-theft - If your SIM card was swapped, the details of the new number and phone location were sent to you, a siren went off, your phone was remotely locked, and private data was wiped

Maybe you remember the videos we made years back, like What Happens to a Lost Smartphone? and Protection for Android phones and tablets.

Over roughly the past decade, Android users and AMS have been up against some pretty serious mobile threats. Here are a few historical highlights:

2010: Trojan SMS 

Fake apps would send out SMS messages to users posing as services like utility apps to create a direct way for malicious actors to get access to financial information or receive payments.

2011: GinMaster, GingerMaster 

Utilized GingerBreak exploits to gain root privileges on the infected phone, especially those running the Android GingerBread OS. First spotted in mainland China.

2014: DroidJack

One of the first RATs (Remote Access Tools) for Android. It allowed malware authors and jealous partners to remotely take control of a device and snoop on messages, email, browsing history, and location. Today, this type of threat is known as stalkerware.

2014: Simplocker

Putting it simply (!), Simplocker scanned for accessible files on the phone’s SD card or external storage. It then encrypted files with certain extensions (.jpg, .doc., .pdf, .txt, etc.). Next, a ransom request was sent to the user before they could regain access to the encrypted files. 

2016: BankBot / RedAlert

One of the most sophisticated pieces of Android malware ever. Combined capabilities of other malware (such as spyware, RATs, and so on) to steal the user’s banking credentials or perform banking fraud. It did an excellent job of hiding itself from users by using a popup screen to mimic bank login screens.

As you can see, when it comes to protecting Android users, the AMS team never rests. We’re always monitoring and preventing new threats. As technology changes and the world evolves, so does our response. Our Android AV app Product Manager, Michal Skvor, gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of what it’s like to work with the AMS team:

“AMS isn’t just one of the most downloaded mobile security apps in the world, but also a top-class product recognized by respected, independent experts throughout its 10-year history. 

AMS’ dedicated team of mobile experts have always managed to stay on top of rapid security threats. At the same time, they’ve adapted the app to the constantly evolving Android ecosystem and users’ needs. Since I joined the team around Avast Mobile Security, I’m still amazed by all the smart and talented top domain expert people who work on it with full commitment to its key purpose: to protect digital freedom for everyone.

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming part of our lives and the Avast Mobile Security team never slows down. In fact, there are a lot of big changes coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned!”

What does AMS look like today?

The newest version of Avast Mobile Security is packed with loads of new features, including these user favorites:

  • Smart Scan - Scans all applications installed on your device and informs you about security risks
  • Web Shield - Protects your system from threats while browsing the web, detects sensitive and malicious and scam/phishing websites
  • AntiTheft - Helps you to protect your data and recover your device in case of loss or theft
  • Wi-Fi Scan - Scans the Wi-Fi network to which your device is connected and identifies specific vulnerabilities
  • VPN (Premium) - Hides your online activities and changes your location when accessing content
  • Photo Vault - Protects access to your photos with a PIN code, encrypts and hides photos
  • Hack Alert - Warns you if any passwords linked to your email address were compromised in a hack or a leak
  • App Locking - Protects your sensitive apps with a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint
  • Junk Cleaner - Analyzes storage space on your device and displays how much is being used by junk files
  • App Insights - Provides information on how often you use installed apps on your device, how much data they consume, and most importantly, what permissions each app accesses with a respective score to help you identify apps that could potentially break your privacy

To celebrate Avast Mobile Security’s 10th Anniversary, we’re offering a 40% discount to new users for their first year! We hope you enjoy using the product as much as we’ve enjoyed building it into what it is today – and into what it will be tomorrow.

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