Smartphone Cyber Attacks to Grow in 2013
Smartphones are everywherekids, consumers and businesses have all embraced these amazing devicesand hackers are taking advantage of these new targets. Because smartphones run the same software as many computers, they have similar vulnerabilities, which hackers can target. But smartphones have other capabilities, including their connection to other devices, like Bluetooth, that hackers can exploit.
As more smartphones are used to make mobile payments, these systems are expected to be increasingly targeted by cybercriminals in 2013. According to a recent CNN article, 300 million smartphones will be equipped with near-field communication chips, which are required for mobile payments, with nearly $50 billion in global NFC transactions expected this year.
In addition to mobile payment attacks, security analysts also expect an increase in ransomware that targets smartphones. In a ransomware attack, a mobile phone is infected with malware that takes control of the phone and data until the phone's owner pays money to regain control of the phone.
Google's Android operating system has been the target of most hackers, but attacks on Apple's iPhone are expected to escalate.
"Apple's 'walled garden' approach makes it difficult for third parties to protect it," said Tom Kellerman, head of cybersecurity at Trend Micro and former commissioner of President Obama's cybersecurity council. "We will see many more viable attacks on iOS, because hackers know that the wealthiest people tend to own Apple devices. The walled garden will eventually fall."
Despite these predictions, security analysts agree that the greatest risk to smartphone security comes from simple carelessness. Most personal data is taken from smartphones when they're lost or stolen and aren't protected by a password. According to Verizon, these attacks on lost or stolen phones will exceed mobile malware and other smartphone exploits.
Learn How to Protect Your Android Smartphone from Malicious Apps
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2012 Annual Security Roundup: Post-PC Threats
As computing moved from desktops and laptops to include mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, cybercriminals took advantage of these new targets in 2012. For example, the number of malware targeting Android devices grew to 350,000 from just 1,000 in 2011, while many familiar threatslike data breaches, phishing messages, and ransomware-evolved to be more evasive with the help of Exploit Kits. Read the TrendLabs Annual Security Roundup to learn more about this new generation of threatsand how you can stay protected.