First 30 Days Blog

16 oct

The Future of Viruses: Smartphone Malware On the Rise

RobertCordrayIn less than a decade, smartphones have gone from being nonexistent to just about the only phones on the market. And with each new development, they are becoming smarter and smarter, and a more and more essential part of our lives — but up until now we all sort of took it for granted that a smartphone is secure. After all, who ever heard of a phone with a virus? However, as is natural with something that is so widespread, hackers have started to take advantage and figure out ways to infiltrate handheld devices.

In fact, the lack of security on most smartphones has made this a big problem in recent years, and one that is only getting worse. It makes sense — how many people do you know with the threat intelligence to put antivirus protection on their phone? And since most of us use our phones far more than we use our computers, we put them at greater risk to increasingly advanced malware.

Need proof? NQ Mobile released a study that they conducted of malware threats in the last few years. In 2009, there were only 1,649 malware discoveries. In 2010, it rose to 6,760, but in 2011 it jumped up to an incredible 24,794 discoveries, and incase you think that it might plateau, consider that the next year, 2012, saw 65,227 discoveries of malware, which means if anything it is only getting worse. What is more, the United States is the fourth most infected country, behind China, India and Russia.

And although brand loyalty is all the rage right now, don’t think that your favorite operating system will save you. Apple’s iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Google Android all have certain protections in place for their users, but the cyberattack evolution means that they are no longer enough.

You might be tempted to turn to certain apps in order to get greater protection for your device, but be careful, as many of these apps are designed specifically to trick you into downloading them and perhaps even entering personal information that will be used by hackers to steal your money or identity. As a result, anti-malware protection is not enough. You need to be aware of all of the ways in which hackers might attack your device. Here are some to watch out for:

  • Phishing - it might be spelled differently, but fishing is not far from the methodology used for this sort of attack. The hackers will try to “catch” you through trick emails and links that appear legitimate. On phones, hackers might also try to bait you with fake apps that will serve little or no purpose, but steal your information.

  • Denial of Service – Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are cyberattacks that flood all areas of a network, computer, or device, and prevent you from using any services such as email, online accounts, websites and so on. Hackers may use your device to carry out such attacks on others. Antivirus software is the best way to prevent such attacks.

  • Vulnerable Apps - make sure that you are only downloading secure and reputable apps. Even if they are not fake apps developed by hackers, hackers may use certain apps on your device to get into your private information. Double check the reliability of any app that stores any of your personal information.

There are many other ways that hackers can attack your smartphone, and they are coming up with new techniques everyday. If you want to protect your identity and private information, it is a good idea to look into getting the necessary protection for your mobile device, from a trusted source.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on October 16th, 2013 in Technology | 0 comments

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