CompTIA®A+ Core 2 Exam Notes : Troubleshooting mobile OS and application security issues

4. Software troubleshooting

4.3 Troubleshooting mobile OS and application security issues

Mobile security aims to protect personal and business information that is stored on, or transmitted to and from, mobile devices. It relates to all aspects of security, from malware threats to mitigating risk and securing mobile data in case of unauthorized access, theft or accidental loss of a mobile device.

Tools used to troubleshoot mobile OS security issues

1. Antimalware: An essential software for defense against all virus, malware and exploits is a good antimalware program. The mobile platform requires smaller more efficient apps than the desktop versions. Apps like Malwarebytes, Pegasus, and Lookout have both Android and iOS versions. These programs detect malicious programs by comparing it to known malware called signatures. Each particular malware has a specific digital footprint. As the malware evolves it will alter itself and change its footprint to avoid detection. The antimalware signatures need to be updated as frequently as possible to keep up with the evolution of the threats. Also, these applications are able to detect the slight changes that malware makes to itself and have the capability to detect malicious behavior.

2. App scanner: App scanners check the apps on your device for security vulnerabilities. This is another area where the need for real-time detection is clear. In addition to checking installed apps, it is important to have the ability to scan apps before they are installed.

3. Factory reset/Clean install: There are a number of reasons why you might need to factory reset your Android phone. Maybe your phone is overloaded with apps and running slow, or you've downloaded a recent update and it's causing problems with your phone's functionality.

Or maybe you want to reset to the factory settings because you're selling your phone. A factory reset is the ultimate cleansing of your Android device. When you perform a factory reset you're essentially wiping out everything you've ever done to the phone or tablet and restoring it back to the basic manufacturer software. It wipe out any core application updates you've downloaded or installed after buying the phone. Or put it another way, factory reset your phone to the state when you bought it.

It's highly recommended that you do some precautions before doing the factory reset.

1. Back up any important files to your PC or external storage.
2. Make sure your contacts are synced with your Gmail account.
3. Write down a list of apps you may want to reinstall.

Following are the steps to Factory Reset Android phone

1. Open the Settings menu on your device.
2. Under the Personal category, select "Backup & Reset."
3. At the bottom, you will see "Factory data reset."
Once you select to factory wipe your device, all info will be wiped including contacts (unless they're synced to your Google account), pictures, documents, and everything else. It returns the device to as it was when you just bought it.
4. After selecting Factory data reset, click "Reset phone" to confirm the reset.

Once hit, the device boots into recovery and wipes it clean. After it is done, it will reboot and your device will act as if it is brand new with all of its content gone.

4. Uninstall/reinstall apps: When you encounter an unusual behavior in an app, try stopping and restarting the app. If that does not work try restarting the device. If the problem is still unresolved, you need to remove the app by uninstalling it. Then obtain a fresh install file from the play store or App Store and install. The online store retains a record of all previously installed apps to help you choose your new installation files.

5. WiFi analyzer: WiFi analyzer can help you to identify Wi-Fi problems, find the best channel or the best place for your router/access-point by turning your PC/laptop, tablet or mobile device into an analyzer for your wireless network. WiFi analyzers can provide signal strength metrics and quality information. It also addresses security vulnerabilities including the location and activity of unauthorized devices. Traditionally WiFi analyzers were dedicated devices. The mobile device are capable of supporting a WiFi analyzer app making wireless network analysis and threat detection more accessible as opposed to the expensive dedicated instruments.

6. Force stop: Sometimes during app troubleshooting, you will attempt to uninstall an app only to fail. An app that is reported as in use will not uninstall. Use Settings > Apps to force a running app to stop. This will usually facilitate the uninstallation.

7. Cell tower analyzer: A cell tower analyzer can be used by technicians to measure the signal strength across a network and assist in device placement to provide uniform coverage.

8. Backup/Restore: Apple devices have flexibility in the backup and restore process. Itunes can be used to backup, sync mobile content with your MAC or PC. Then it can be used to restore content from the computer to the mobile device. The size of the backup is only limited by the available space on the Mac/PC. Encrypted backups can be selected but encryption is off by default. Apple Configurator can be used to manage profiles, apps and backup settings including wiping the device and selectively create an instance with the iOS and individual apps to be deployed. The configurator can work with the iCloud and is scalable to configure multiple devices. It does not perform backup and sync, it configures the device to perform these functions.

9. Google sync: Google sync has been replaced by GoogleDrive to synchronize mail, contacts, photos and other selected content for the personal user. Google Sync is only available to G Suite, Drive for Work, Government, and Education customers. The Google Drive provides up to 15GB free storage with a Gmail account. Download Google Drive and a Google Drive folder will be created and you can select files in the Cloud to be synchronized with your mobile device. Desktop/laptop GoogleDrive folders begin synching immediately.

10. OneDrive: Microsoft’s OneDrive is available to Windows, Android and iOS devices. It offers 5GB of free storage which can be increased to 1TB with an Office 365 subscription.

11. Itunes: Itunes is a media player and media library application developed by Apple Inc. It is used to play, download, and organize digital audio and video on personal computers running the OS X operating system and the iOS-based iPod, iPhone, and iPad devices, with editions also released for Microsoft.

12. iCloud: iCloud is a cloud storage and cloud computing service from Apple Inc. The service allows users to store data such as music and iOS applications on remote computer servers for download to multiple devices such as iOS-based devices running iOS 5 or later, and personal computers running OS X 10.7.2 "Lion" or later, or Microsoft Windows (Windows Vista service pack 2 or later). iCloud is Apple's cloud-storage subscription service. iCloud Drive is like an external hard disk in the sky. Available for iOS devices, Macs, and Windows PCs. You can access all of your files and data from any device.

Steps to Sync Contacts from iPhone 4s/5/5s/6/6s to Mac via iCloud:

1. On your iPhone, tap Settings > iCloud > Sign in with your Apple ID > Find Contacts option here and toggle it to ON.
2. On your Mac, if you haven't enabled your iCloud on Mac, you should set it up first. Go to System Preferences > Find and open iCloud > Sign in with your Apple ID > Select Contacts to enable it. After that, all your iPhone contacts are synced to your Mac via iCloud.

Note: OSX Mavericks v.10.9 or later, your contacts, calendars, and other info are updated on your computers and iOS devices via iCloud.

When installing a third party application such as iTunes on your PC, ensure that the following recommendations are fulfilled:

1. You have administrative rights to the computer
2. Get latest Windows updates.
3. Disable any conflicting software; you can use MSCONFIG utility to troubleshoot the problem in Windows 7/8/8.1/10
4. Make sure your folder names don't contain strange characters
5. Additionally, if you are installing unsigned software, you will be prompted whether you are willing to go ahead with the installation. You must accept to the risks to complete the installation.

Example: The problem is that Jason was not able to update contacts and getting an error "Unable to Connect to the Server". The problem may be solved by:

1. Checking the health of the iCloud server. If the iCloud server is down, usually, it will be fixed by the company in a few minutes.
2. Verifying his login credentials. Sometimes, if you are not able to connect to the iCloud, it might be due to verification failure. Just login to iCloud from both your iPhone and the desktop and verify login credentials. In most cases, this will solve the problem. You may need to restart your devices before doing this and close any other applications before verifying your credentials.

Pairing: Establishing a connection between two Bluetooth devices is called pairing. For example, to pair a headset with a phone, the phone is configured to "Discoverable" mode and the headset is setup to pair by pressing one or more keys for some number of seconds. The headset finds the phone and establishes a connection using an assigned passkey (if any).

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