As the business of mobile malware evolves, cyber criminals are targeting mobile phones in an effort to steal cash from victims.
Mobile security firm Lookout has reported that within nine months, incidents of viruses stealing money have risen from 29% of mobile malware to 62%.
It appears that geography plays a significant part as to who is more likely to be hit by malware or spyware. Lookout recently published its ‘State of Mobile Security Report 2012’ which showed that during a 12 month period, the likelihood of contracting mobile malware is 41% in Russia, compared to about 5% in the U.S. This is unsurprising due to the fact that there is weak regulation of premium SMS services and app stores in many regions, including Eastern Europe, Russia and China. This does not mean that other countries are immune from malware attacks. By carelessly clicking on links and dialing unknown telephone numbers that are received in SMS messages, unsuspecting victims can provide information which could then be used for identify theft.
More than 500 million smartphones and tablets were sold worldwide in 2011. With the increased use of smart phones, there is more incentive for hackers to strike, due to the amount of personal and financial data that is stored on the devices. Mobile devices have changed the way that we go about our daily lives, from how we conduct business and finance to the use of social media. It is clear why smart phones are so attractive to hackers.
Stay smart when using your smart phone. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Any free versions of an app that would normally cost money, free wallpapers and MP3s etc could possibly pose a threat to your device. Being cautious when using your phone will help to prevent you becoming one of the latest cyber crime statistics.
Good article, useful advice and timely update. Thanks.
You may equally like to advise your clients to identify carefully the file extensions inserted into the ‘Exception List’ for their antimalware product where mobile devices and smartphone are linked to a server, such as Blackberry Enterprise Solutions, Windows Server or other types of servers where the aforementioned devices/phones are connected to them.
Where downloads are direct to mobile devices or smartphones perhaps save programs to a separate memory card etc for antimalware testing before executing the program in the handset.
Also take care not to run gaming programs from no-trust sources until they been thoroughly checked out proven to be trusted. Here are two links about financial loss:
You are correct. The days of a phone being only able to make telephone calls are long gone. They are, in effect, as powerful as your desktop computer of a few years ago, but without even half of it’s security software.
Cyber criminals now target smartphones because they are prevalent, vulnerable and fairly easy to phish their way into
Interesting article David. Makes me wonder if the public should be better informed than they are in order to prevent crime, rather than find out after the event. I might just have a look at what is happening in my own force.