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Malware in Mobile Devices

Other examples of proprietary malware

Malware means software designed to function in ways that mistreat or harm the user. (This does not include accidental errors.)

Malware and nonfree software are two different issues. The difference between free software and nonfree software is in whether the users have control of the program or vice versa. It's not directly a question of what the program does when it runs. However, in practice nonfree software is often malware, because the developer's awareness that the users would be powerless to fix any malicious functionalities tempts the developer to impose some.

Nearly all mobile phones do two grievous wrongs to their users: tracking their movements, and listening to their conversations. This is why we call them “Stalin's dream”.

The malware we list here is present in every phone, or in software that is not made by Apple or Google (including its subsidiaries). Malicious functionalities in mobile software released by Apple or Google are listed in dedicated pages, Apple's Operating Systems are Malware and Google's Software Is Malware respectively.

If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't here, please write to <webmasters@gnu.org> to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two to serve as specific substantiation.

Type of malware

Mobile Back Doors

Mobile DRM

Mobile Insecurity

These bugs are/were not intentional, so unlike the rest of the file they do not count as malware. We mention them to refute the supposition that prestigious proprietary software doesn't have grave bugs.

Mobile Interference

This section gives examples of mobile apps harassing or annoying the user, or causing trouble for the user. These actions are like sabotage but the word “sabotage” is too strong for them.

Mobile Manipulation

Mobile Sabotage

Mobile Surveillance

Mobile Jails

Mobile Tyrants


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