Scan for threats in the background as Max Mobile Security goes headless

Max Mobile Security
By James Richardson on 2 May 2014 03:55 am EDT
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Another native BlackBerry 10 app has gone headless this week. While Max Secure Security won't be needed by everyone, I'm a pretty big fan since I tend to load a bunch of Android apps on my devices regularly since BlackBerry 10.2.1 hit the scene. 

Although BlackBerry is number one in the mobile security market, the loading of some Android APK's may be an issue and I tend to run a scan at lest once a week. As you'll see below in the press release Max Secure Security can now perform the scan in the background thanks to its headless ability. 

While it isn't the cheapest of apps (priced at just under ten bucks) it does give you piece of mind and if you ask me that's money well worth spending. Of course, I'm sure not everyone will agree with me but that's life. 

Press Release

Pune, India (May 1st, 2014) – Max Secure Software announces the release of version its eighth version of Max Mobile Security for BlackBerry® 10 (NASDAQ: BBRY). This release enhances the Smart Scan (Patent pending) Scanner and also brings in background scanning with the headless feature.   

Max Mobile Security protects BlackBerry 10 users from: 

1. APK Scanner scans malicious Android run-time apps for BlackBerry 10 and even gives the privacy risk based on permissions. 

2. Malware that can harm other devices like devices connected to the same cloud, email attachments or when the device is connected to the PC.

3.  Max Safe Browser integrated adds anti-phishing and enhanced privacy for our users.

4. With background scanning, harmful downloaded apps and files.

“With the increased amount of Android runtime app usage for BlackBerry users, the headless scanner will help enhance their security,” Sanjay Pradhan the CEO of Max Secure Software.

More information/Download Max Mobile Security for BlackBerry 10

Reader comments

Scan for threats in the background as Max Mobile Security goes headless

66 Comments

Is this app actually doing a real scanning? There are many people that say that it's just a rip off and doesnt actually do anything..

that and why does a blackberry need antivirus. I thought a BlackBerry didn't get a virus. Seem like a money grab to me.

Headless not for me!! Dont want this app to scan all my files etc. in real time!!

Posted via  Q10Bold

What are you trying to hide? Any other reason? Why ?

Slowdown? Hope it's not like Norton & Co.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

The only headless apps that run on my device are ввм and Twitter :)

Why blackberry needs this app?

CB10 on  Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.2141

I guess you have never checked the reviews given by the people who downloaded this app on BlackBerry World, it's pathetic . And this app is for Rupees 500 in INDIA roughly around 9 USD, which is really Over rated.

Posted via CB10

Might test it, got plenty of Windows malware samples.

Will it prevent or catch them when I - by accident - forward an "innocent" email with a trojan .EXE to a hapless Windows user?

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I'd like to order one piece of mind please.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

Ok. According to the update notes, this will scan automatically after a reset or battery event. Not sure what the battery event means. But with apk files on my Z, it is nice to have some kind of support for them.

Posted via CB10

My question is if users really need it, like is there any know malware / virus active today on BB10?
Did the app ever find anything that was a threat and removed or quarantined it?

And can it detect malware, spyware, viruses that are a danger to iOs, Android, Windows, Linux?
Cause if they can't breach BB10Os, they could try to place a Trojan on your memory card, and when you use usb to your laptop...well you got infected.

Surabaya autostart.inf viruses and this kind of stuff.

Might well be a threat, not for the 'Berry, but for the host comp connected via USB.

Might test on my Z10 and a Surabaya (not Jakarta, haha, another city on the Island of Java!) virus, see whether that unsecured XP test box cops it hard...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

It did for me. I sideloaded two apps, and it quarantined them. I deleted them immediately. After looking at one closely, it had a lot of Chinese writing in the app sections.

Posted via CB10

Maybe folks ought to research what the app actually does and the company making it. Instead folks shot their mouths off not knowing the facts.

Yes it will detect a threat.
Yes it is good for those with Droid apps.
Battery drain is VERY small.

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

I am just asking cause I am curious since I have not read one warning about any know viruses, the only threat reported was the whole Heartbleed thing. Also in the case of existing mall-ware and stuff, it would be nice to know where it actually comes from; e.g. websites, BB10 apps, Android apps, Email, send files / pictures / attachments or even from a computer.

Most people think way to lightly about security and just trust the companies & service providers, most times this is were it goes wrong, the whole SLL incident for example or man in the middle attacks. On the other hand most companies, even BlackBerry, either do not inform their customers or not well enough about taken precautions. Like how is the BB10 security revolving around access to and from an sd-card or what security measures are in place with banking apps.

If I go to my banking site, at least I can see there is an encryption key in place and if its working or not.*
On BB10 my bank launched an Android App into BB World but when you use it, there is not a single sign of any form of encryption / security apart for the log-in code. Now I know that for most users, even me, it can get way to technical to explain how everything works and has the downside that also hackers become aware how it works but now nobody knows.

As it stands right now people would recommend an app like Max Mobile Security, for more security.
But in my eyes, if a platform like BB10 needs more security, something is just wrong and needs to be fixed. On the other hand there are enough idiots out there who just leave everything open on their Windows Machine and download every available Android app there is and don't even care if Whatsapp is logging all your data and contacts and it would be wise to protect yourself against them.

I don't remember who said it, or said it first, but I'm afraid too that it will be an endless battle between security vs. those who want to breach it. And the question for the regular Joe is, how much effort are you putting in to protect yourself and how much are you willing to spend.

* For sake of argument, let's just assume it's save when there is a green lock.

You're thinking...you're not supposed to be doing that. You're supposed to digest the crafted message, implode into your fear cocoon and spend like a good little lamb.

Posted via CB10

Please disregard previous indication that you should wrap your home in plastic and duct tape. Do your patriotic duty and head to the nearest shopping mall.

Please, read the article before you post. The main advantage of a security app for BlackBerry 10 is to examine the implications of Android apps. Lots of people here have recommended unsanctioned Android app stores and who knows where their APK's are coming from. This app will allow you to know just what security and privacy issues those apps bring with them. Some people also use their device on multiple computers, the last thing you'd want on your device is some kind of USB infection that wouldn't compromise your handset, but would infect the next computer you use.

Some people just want peace of mind, and there isn't a price for that.

Truth be told though, I don't have this or any security app on my Q10, but I can understand why someone would want one.

Posted via CB10

As I said above, this app identified and quarantined two sideloaded android apps. One had lots of Chinese writing in it. I deleted it immediately, so the app is doing something.

Posted via CB10

I have it installed on my phone because of android apps also I use lots of workstations in.work to transfer files also secure browser is a plus

Posted via CB10

I also bought it for the few android apps I put on my phone. For the record you have the option of running headless or not for the people who are worried.

Posted via CB10

Many people are questioning why this is necessary. For a BlackBerry running nothing but apps from BlackBerry World and not connecting to a PC by USB, it's really not necessary. Introduce Android apps to your phone and plug your phone into a Windows-based PC and suddenly it makes sense.

Cheers. :)

This "app" is just a waste of money! Not sure why Crackberry is promoting it again! Last time they did a review there were hundreds if comments saying it is fakeware! Ie: it doesn't work!

Why are we giving them exposure!?!

Posted via CB10

I ran it the other day and it picked up 4 android copycat viruses on my phone. Have had it for 6 months and that's the first time. I try to use all the BlackBerry apps I can but for now sometimes I still have to use a droid or 2.

Posted via CB10

I bought this app because you never know what could appear. Also, this company has supported BB10 since the beginning by making a native app. This app has had at least two major updates since its release. Active dev and native app is great in my book

Posted via CB10

10 bucks? Has to be very effective. Anyway, I don't need it as I only run native Berry apps.

Posted via CB10

This app is awesome! Along with all the other apps they have created. Scans in the background and gives you that extra blanket of security. Security will be vital going into the future.

I see a lot of "I only use native or BlackBerry World" postings, how about email. The scammers are very good at what they do. Imagine you have a good friend who' machine gets compromised; now you receive an email from said friend with a attachment that looks and sounds legit. Most will open it a few will confirm the email is legit. For those that open it, you have a good chance of having your address book and personal data down loaded. The only reason BlackBerry users feel secure is because we are not part of the masses. Meaning the bad guys are focusing on the numbers and it helps that android is easier to crack. If the bad guys begin to target BlackBerry users you can bet they will get in. The bigger question is can BlackBerry and third party security stay ahead of the threats the simple answer is NO unless you can see the future. Almost every time I power up my PC AVG updates. That update is a patch to a hole or a reaction to a new threat. The latter should scare you the most and the same goes for our devices. I have MM but as far as I am concerned letting me know I have a problem is not the same as blocking one.

I had a virus protection app on my Note II when I had that phone because of all the apps I had on it. One can never tell. But I'm not running any non-native apps on my Q10, so can live without this app. Anyhow, most of the Android apps I want are not suggested for the Q10. Already tried and that was a big fail!

Posted via CB10

So, in fact it is not the Blackberry or its native software you have to worry about. This cash grab is for those that want to fill their BlackBerry with crap from Android. And rightly so, I believe you should pay a premium, as with this app, to run the applications that apparently you can't live without. I support this kind of gouging of the niche public. Lol. Sorry, seemed like fun at the time.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10

Seems from the look of the comments, there are some that are directly attached to this cash cow. Long and pious rebuttals for simple questions. Makes me even more wary of its worth.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10

Check the first comment in the review section. A little bit damning.

Posted via CB10 on my sexy white Z30 rocking 10.2.1.2947

I own one of the largest security testing labs in the world (MRG-Effitas - we test for vendors like Kaspersky, Trend Micro, Webroot, Trusteer etc. We are also the world's largest supplier of malicious binaries and URLs - supply vendors and other testing labs such as PCMag etc.)

We did a test using this product using current android and Windows malware and it detected pretty much nothing - less than 1%.

We contacted the vendor and offered them access to our malware feed and they didn't bother replying!

You don't need any antivirus on a BlackBerry unless you install android apps. If you do install android apps do so only from the official Play store and this will reduce the chance of the apps being malicious.

If you do install android apps, you are far better off installing a free android antivirus such as Webroot or MBAM etc. We have tested these and they work - ie, they actually detect current malware.

Take my advice, do not purchase any of the current native BlackBerry antivirus products.

Cheers,

Chris.

Posted via CB10

It's a blessing when folks like you can show up and set the records straight. I was so inclined to purchase this but now I know surely that it's not necessary for my current usage. Thank you!!!

Man United 4life!!!!

I knew this kind of stuff would crop up the moment it was announced that Android apps would run on a BlackBerry. Figures, but hey, who buys a BlackBerry for data security right? Apps apps apps because you just can't live without those certain ones.

Guys, I will conduct another test of this product later today or tomorrow - I need to pull some malicious APKs from our feed first which will take a while.

Just for fun, I downloaded their "Max Spyware Detector" PC product and installed it on a clean virtual machine (VM) in our lab. This was a fresh, 100% clean windows 7 PC. I ran a scan using Max Spyware Detector and it found "tmcs.Spyware.Cookie" and then popped up its scan results window which stated "1 Errors Detected" and "Harmful Viruses and Spyware detected"

In order to fix the issue, you are prompted to pay to register the product.

I contacted their online support to ask them about this detection. I asked if it was dangerous, they replied "Yes". I asked them if this threat could steal my banking details etc and they replied "Yes". I asked if I could remove this threat without their product and they replied "No"

Just to make this clear, all they found was a harmless cookie which you can delete yourself at any time!

I took a screen capture of the fake alerts on the VM and also a capture of the entire conversation with their "support"

I'm a busy man, but I'm going to take some time out to expose these people by conducting a full test and publish a report on their PC and BlackBerry products.

I will test for false positives (fake detection of legitimate applications) and also test the detection rate against early life malware.

I will let you know when these reports are published.

The issue I have here is threefold:

Firstly , these "security products" are not necessarily malicious, they are classed as Potentially Unwanted Applications" (PUAs) - commonly called Rogues - so they are not necessarily doing anything that will harm your system, so when BlackBerry and Trend Micro assess these products they just look for malicious behaviour and in truth, neither of these apps exhibit malicious behaviour, so its tricky to filter them out.

Secondly, If I were BlackBerry, in the case of antivirus and antimalware products, I would engage the services of a testing lab to determine if the product did pop up false alerts and assess if it did actually detect relevant malware - be this Android or Windows etc before allowing it to be listed in BlackBerry World.

Thirdly, with specific respect to antivirus & antimalware products the star rating system in the reviews I feel is inappropriate. It is fine for most products as users are able to work out for themselves if an app is any good, but for antimalware products, how can a user say if its good or bad as they don't have access to a malware testing facility (you need large volumes of verified malware to throw at products in a lab environment to assess how well it detects them)

I have hooked up with several security personnel at BlackBerry via LinkedIn as we will be conducting mobile security tests later in the year. I will ping some of these people next week and offer our services to them, so we can verify that these security products are valid on their behalf before they are put in to BlackBerry World.

Cheers,

Chris

If you want further evidence about the PC product take a look here:
http://www.f-secure.com/sw-desc/max_spyware_detector.shtml
http://www.securitystronghold.com/gates/max-spyware-detector.html

Just as an update, I did a v quick on demand test on the PC application using 1476 malicious binaries and it detected 75% of them, so this application is not a PUA or Rogue since it does detect some malware. However, to put it in context - I also tested the same sample set using Kaspersky and it detected 96% and HitmanPro detected 99.9%.

Also, if of interest see here for screencap of fake alert:
http://postimg.org/image/5cr5rb5d1/

And here for screencap of the conversation with their technical support:
http://postimg.org/image/5ldsoy51p/

You can always verify that the support does provide false information in order to persuade you to buy the product by trying it for yourselves by clicking on the "chat support" button on their website - http://www.maxpcsecure.com/

I will leave it to each individual to make their own judgements.

Cheers,

Chris