Smartphones a new target for cyber criminals, warn experts
Number of smartphone users in the country has substantially increased over the years. The growth of smartphones mean now a larger number of people are accessing the Internet on the go. Also, the smartphones have pushed the popularity of apps. But then the smartphones come with own set of risks. There are multiple reports on the web about the smartphones apps being fraught with privacy or security risks.
Experts also believe smartphone users now need to be more watchful. According to them, cyber criminals are now setting their sights on smartphone users, especially those using the Android operating system.
Symantec's Managing Director, Anand Naik, says the major mobile platforms have become “ubiquitous” enough to draw the attention of cyber attackers and that Symantec predicts significant increase in attacks on these platforms.
McAfee Labs' Product Manger Vinoo Thomas has a similar opinion and says with smartphones gaining popularity, the possibilities of cyber criminals' shifting their targets from the PCs have increased.
That being said, risks to computer hasn't subsided, whereas, malicious software developers are now prepping mobile specific malware. “The number of vulnerabilities in the mobile space is rising, and malware authors not only are reinventing the existing malware for mobile devices but also creating mobile-specific malware geared to the unique mobile opportunities,” Mr. Naik points out.
Experts further say that the risks posed by mobile malware include sending premium-rate SMSes, collecting device data, tracking device's location, sending spams and even monitoring details of banking transactions done through the device.
According to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report XVII, mobile vulnerabilities have increased by 93 percent last year. And majority of these threats are aimed at Google's Android operating system.
“In our Global Threats Report for the first quarter of 2012, we saw a large increase in mobile malware. The jump was targeted almost solely at the Android platform. Hundreds of Android threats in the middle of 2011 have moved into the thousands this year. Android threats now reach almost 7,000, with more than 8,000 total mobile malware samples in our database,” adds Mr. Thomas.
Do you also think smartphones are vulnerable to such attacks? Let us know in the comments section below:
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