The Wild West's guide
to mobile malware

Or how Jesse James would trick you with HummingBad

Did you know?

Prior to 1900, fewer than 10 bank robberies took place in the Wild West.

In contrast, there were over 10 million users affected by HummingBad last year.


One of the most successful bank
heists in the Wild West.


Generated by HummingBad
every month by displaying
ads in a user’s infected phone

Jesse James' 5-step guide to mobile theft

A look into tactics used by hardened banditos, gunslingers, and garden-variety hackers.

Step 1: The Plan

Outlaws identify vulnerabilities, then develop exploits. If they don’t have the skills, they hire a bounty hunter on the black market.

Step 2: The Gear

Long coats, bandanas, and pistols are passé. Today, infected websites and malicious apps are the weapons of choice to secretly install malware on victims' phones.

Step 3: The inside man

Once downloaded, outlaws try to gain root access to the phone. If this fails, they generate a fake update notification — clicking on the notification grants them the ability to display ads and download apps at will. Banditos can even change the phone’s IMEI number to increase the number of ads they can display.

Step 4: The heist

No (virtual) guns blazing. Just wait until the money gushes in.

Step 5: The getaway

There is no need for saddled horses waiting to whisk the gunslingers to safety. The threat is difficult to dislodge. Users would need to download an antivirus that can detect it.

Other solutions by Avira

Avira Phantom VPN

Browse freely and anonymously. Available for iOS and Android.

Avira Password Manager

Let the Manager generate and remember your passwords for you. Available for iOS and Android.

Features of Avira Antivirus Security

Browser Safety

Checks every site you access against our cloud database and blocks them before they load.

Antivirus Protection

Blocks all banking Trojans and infected apps from ever getting onto your phone.

Privacy Advisor

Alerts you about apps that collect lots of info about you.


Remotely trigger a yell to find a lost or misplaced phone.

Remote lock

Allows you to remotely lock your phone at any time.

Data Wipe

Remotely deletes all your phone's data — in case all else fails.


Pinpoints your phone's location on a map.


Lets the person who finds your phone contact you with one tap on the home screen.

Device Management

Administers your security from behind the bench (a.k.a. dashboard), where you can remotely activate your anti-theft tools.