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Mobile Phone Security – Hacking attacks increase in 2013

This NBC news article enumerates how Smart Phone attacks are more popular outside the USA, but are still a growing world-wide threat

http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/21/17390282-smartphone-hacking-comes-of-age-hitting-us-victims

QUOTE: Devastating cellphone hacks that hijack your most personal gadget and rob you of privacy and money have long been forecast. But even as smartphone users in Asia are beginning to suffer exploding bills and emptied bank accounts at the hands of hackers, U.S. users largely remain safe and blissfully unaware of the gathering threat

They took a year-old mobile virus named NotCompatible, which allows hackers to take complete control of a phone, and posted the malicious code on websites. Then they sent out enticing spam emails with links to the booby-trapped sites. The emails were all the more tempting because they appeared to come from friends or others on the recipients’ contact list.  Victims who clicked on the link from their phones and downloaded the file surrendered control of their Android phones to the criminals. Security firm Lookout says 10,000 customers per day are still being tricked to click on the bogus link and landing on the booby-trapped pages, and virtually all of them are in the U.S.

U.S. smartphone users have been spared much grief from mobile malware so far for a variety of reasons. Chief among them: Most users get their apps from a centralized and safe source. Apple keeps tight controls on its App Store, so malware writers are largely ignoring that platform. And while Google’s Play Store for Android is not as tightly controlled, criminals haven’t had much luck sneaking infected software onto that platform, either.  That leaves hackers with time-consuming, clumsy methods, such as tricking users to visit a rogue website and electing to install an app.

Android attackers in other parts of the world have an easier time. In China, for example, it’s hard to access Google’s Play store, so consumers often get their apps from websites. That means rogue apps on random websites raise less suspicion.

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