MARCH 14, 2014
Your regular source of security updates from TrendLabsSM
In This Issue

Security Spotlight
A Look at the Mobile Cybercriminal Underground

Security for Home Users
Checking Out the Security of Messaging Apps

Security for Business
The Enterprise Fights Back: Building Threat Intelligence



Security for Home Users

Checking Out the Security of Messaging Apps

Messaging apps are a great way to stay connected but like other apps, you need to follow a few safety practices to ensure your online safety.”



Mobile devices these days don’t solely rely on a network carrier for communication. Messaging apps now allow instant messaging, content sharing, and making voice calls over the Internet, often at a fraction of the cost of making traditional voice calls. But while these apps offer convenience, they can also compromise your device’s security.

The Pros and Cons of Messaging App Use

Messaging apps have become a popular mode of communication with significant numbers to back them up. Snapchat has around 30 million active monthly users while WhatsApp and LINE have 400 million and 300 million users, respectively. Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp for US$19 billion also highlights just how popular and valuable messaging apps are today.

As usual though, popularity comes at a price. Messaging apps have become a target of cybercriminals, with fake and Trojanized versions emerging online. We saw two malicious versions of KakaoTalk, a popular messaging app just recently. Bad guys are also using the names of messaging apps to spread malware via fake email notifications.

Messaging services have also become a huge target for server attacks that can lead to data breaches and personal data leakage. Snapchat, for instance, suffered a server hack attack that leaked 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers onto a public site.

To Install or Not to Install?

Messaging apps are a great way to stay connected but like other apps, you need to follow a few safety practices to ensure your online safety. Keep these in mind:

  • Secure your messaging accounts. Use strong passphrases and unique email accounts when you register.

  • Exercise restraint when using messaging apps. Try not to share anything on them you wouldn’t want the public to know. If you wish to maintain some level of “anonymity,” avoid posting real-life identification details that can be traced back to you.

You can check out “Messaging Apps: How Safe Are They to Use?” for more on messaging apps.

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