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Madware definition

Madware is a fusion of the words mobile and adware. Adware can be classified as a type of greyware and is described as unwelcome software that is made to overwhelm a user's computer with unwanted pop-up ads. In extreme cases, these pop-up ads can appear so often that the device becomes inoperable.

The mobile aspect is included into the concept of madware because it primarily attacks smartphones and tablets. And by using adware, the attacker floods your mobile device with intrusive ads that can cause regular system crashes. In most cases, attackers infect mobile phones with madware through free apps that users download from an app store. This way, the madware installs itself onto the device. Then, attackers use the app to display pop-up ads to everyone on the app in the hopes that the user will willingly or unwillingly click on one. Once a user clicks on an ad, the madware creator gets paid based on the views or clicks the ad receives.

Some madware attacks are more extreme because attackers can use them to track your activity and location, steal your data, and sell it to the highest bidder without you ever knowing.

See also: adware, greyware

Stopping a madware attack

  • Only install apps from official app stores and trustworthy companies, like the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  • Do not click on pop-up ads, and do not stay too long on websites filled with them.
  • Do not click on links, files, or attachments in emails or messages from senders you do not know.
  • Update your apps and system constantly.