Downloaded Photograph Infects Smartphone, but how?

Did you know your computer or mobile device can be infected by a virus from a photograph?

Learn why you can no longer reliably pretend that JPG, PNG, GIF, etc. files are virus free just because of their extension.

Episode #10-24 released on January 26, 2020

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We used to take for granted that photos and text files were impossible to infect, at least, we always thought it was impossible. However, it has been possible to infect PNG, JPG, etc. files and then infect your computer or mobile devices. And, this isn't limited to just images, videos can, also, infect computers with viruses.

How is it possible to infect computers and devices with embedded viruses in multimedia files?

I believe I have stated this before, but many kinds of file formats are now more complicated than they used to be. It is possible to embedded files within other files, so embedding code is not an issue at the very least. A video file is a container file containing video tracks and audio tracks with information related to the video and audio format. In some cases, files can contain extra code to define what the colors should look like, and how the sound should be presented.

Doesn't that mean that a website can intentionally or unintentionally infect users visiting the website?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, the theory holds, you can infect an unwitting user into accidently infecting a computer, however, since Google, Microsoft, etc. scan websites they can notify users in-browser that there is a potential risk of infection. In many cases, Windows Defender with SmartScreen is able to detect the virus on a small set of computers and prevent infection rapidly on other devices.

What precautions can we take?

Update your antivirus, antimalware and browsers. Don't visit strange untrustworthy websites and scan all files downloaded with antivirus and antimalware software. Besides that, always maintain an offline backup.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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