Smart Phones targeted by Cyber-crooks!!

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Smart phones have become a great craze all over the world, people are competing over each other as to whose is the best device, as it spreads all over, the new story on this topic might be something to worry.

As we can see, these days smart phones are almost replacing computers, we use it even for browsing and seems to be more convenient, as the industry is fighting over whose device has the best features, it is time they fight over whose device is the most secure.

Yes, we are talking about the cyber-crooks, it seems now they too have turned their attention to the smart phones.

Symantec’s annual Norton Cybercrime Report released on Thursday calculated that such crimes cost worldwide consumers $110 billion in the past year, with an increase in attacks on mobile devices and online social networks.

Norton’s internet safety advocate Marian Merritt said,

“Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast-growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks”

Tines Of India reported that : “Lookout Mobile Security estimated that millions of dollars have been stolen from people worldwide during the past year using smartphone “malware,” with a “toll fraud” virus proving to be a popular tool.”

Toll fraud programs are those which prompt the smart phones to send fake premium messages, charges for which are added to telecom service bills and the money will flow to the pockets of those who were responsible for creating such infections. The malware is designed to hide what it is doing, and charges can go unnoticed in complex mobile service billing statements.

As reported in the news,

Lookout, which has more than 25 million subscribers to its service, said that in the past 12 months the amount of toll fraud viruses found on devices climbed from 29 percent to 62 percent.

“The mobile malware industry has matured and become a viable business model,” Halliday said. “Toll fraud is the most prevalent type of malware.”

The likelihood of being infected was highest in Eastern Europe, Russia, and China, where smartphone users get “apps” from unofficial sources instead of trusted outlets such as Apple or Google online shops, according to Lookout.

Infected apps may be made available free at file-sharing sites, discussion forums, or through links sent in messages or posted on social networks.

The attack mainly spreads though websites and downloads. Similar to toll fraud another attack is the “adjacking,” in which hackers take a popular application and change segments of its code so that they reap the benefit of advertising.

“With toll fraud they have found a business model that seems to be working; now they are trying to find a distribution model.”, Halliday said

Nearly a third of smartphone users have received a text message from a stranger asking them to click on an embedded link or dial an unfamiliar number, according to the Norton findings.

One in five online adults told of being a cyber crime victim at a social network or on a mobile device, the Norton report found.

“We do believe it is possible to be safe on mobile,” Halliday said.

“It is all about using caution when downloading apps, paying close attention to what you click on, and watching for the same kinds of threats seen on personal computers.”

Again it all ends with a warning where our bit is to take care of whichever sites we visit, to use a good security program and to avoid non-trusted links. With all these precautions doesn’t mean that you are out of trouble, because as we find a way to secure the cyber-crooks are born to come up with more ideas to hack.


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