Get Safe Online warns of mobile threat

Despite no financially significant attacks to date, Get Safe Online warns users about mobile hackers.

Mobile security

The mobile threat is real and companies as well as citizens need to get protected, according to a web security campaign launched today.

As more people use their smartphones for transactions and hosting valuable data, cyber criminals are increasingly looking to attack the devices, the Get Safe Online team warned.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Research from the campaign found 17 per cent of smartphone owners were using their mobile device for "money matters."

The volume of mobile malware has not yet reached the epidemic proportions of computer-based malware.

"While accessing the web via a mobile device can be fun and save time, it's important to be vigilant," said minister for cyber security Francis Maude.

"This week, we are encouraging everyone to take a few moments to visit www.getsafeonline.org and make sure they follow the right advice for using mobile devices securely and safely."

One of the main tricks mobile attackers are using is placing malicious apps on popular app stores, as seen with the DroidDream outbreak earlier this year when numerous dirty applications were found on the Android Market.

Many such apps look to force users into texting premium rate numbers, thereby handing money over to cyber criminals.

"With users now installing and removing apps with increasing frequency, this overall volumemeans the chance of encountering a rogue app is now higher than ever before," said Trend Micro's director of security research and communication Rik Ferguson, writing in the Get Safe Online report.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"The volume of mobile malware has not yet reached the epidemic proportions of computer-based malware, but criminal interest is clearly there and growing."

It's kind of a big deal

Despite widespread concerns about the mobile threat, there have been no significant attacks in which large sums of money have been stolen from smartphones.

In the whole of 2010, Kaspersky only spotted around 135 different species of mobile malware, compared to the vast number of PC-focused malicious software.

However, there is a consensus across the industry that mobile security is something businesses should worry about. Recent figures from G Data showed mobile malware spiked 273 per cent in the first half of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010.

"The mobile threat is a real thing as we are increasingly using mobiles for banking and social media," Bob Tarzey, security analyst at Quocirca, told IT Pro.

Tarzey suggested many of the attacks would focus on Android, the most popular mobile OS in the world and one of the easiest to develop for.

Advertisement - Article continues below

For businesses, the analyst recommended taking the half glass empty approach. "The rule of thumb is to assume the device is going to be compromised and work from that principle," Tarzey added.

"It's all quite manageable."

Read on for our feature on why it's time to worry about mobile security.

Featured Resources

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/ethical-hacking/355860/developer-scores-100000-bounty-from-apple-for-exposing-a-critical
ethical hacking

Developer scores $100,000 bounty from Apple for exposing a critical vulnerability

1 Jun 2020
Visit/security/hacking/355854/hackers-wreaking-havoc-on-googles-cloud-infrastructure
hacking

Hackers are wreaking havoc on Google’s Cloud infrastructure

1 Jun 2020
Visit/security/encryption/355820/k2view-innovates-in-data-management-with-new-encryption-patent
encryption

K2View innovates in data management with new encryption patent

28 May 2020
Visit/security/phishing/355810/zloader-malware-returns-as-a-coronavirus-phishing-scam
phishing

ZLoader malware returns as a coronavirus phishing scam

27 May 2020

Most Popular

Visit/server-storage/network-attached-storage-nas/355849/western-digital-sneaked-inferior-smr-tech-into
network attached storage (NAS)

Western Digital accused of sneaking inferior SMR tech into NAS drives

1 Jun 2020
Visit/security/data-breaches/355777/easyjet-faces-class-action-lawsuit-over-data-breach
data breaches

EasyJet faces class-action lawsuit over data breach

26 May 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/355812/microsoft-warns-against-installing-windows-10-may-2020
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft warns users not to install Windows 10's May update

28 May 2020