Cyber attacks target smartphones


Security experts have warned for years that our smart phones are due for a major Cyber attack. Like PCs back in the early days -- the 1990s -- mobile phones are largely unprotected by antivirus software, and they're a treasure trove of valuable information.  -Read the latest report

So why hasn't the smartphone Armageddon happened yet?

A significant attack on Smart phones is predicted every year, and it hasn't happened yet. But that isn't stopping major security firms from saying this will be the year that phones will finally emerge as a major target for cybercriminals.There are many reasons why smart phones are vulnerable. For one, they run most of the same software that smart phone users also use on their computers. Smart phones also have many additional capabilities that hackers can exploit. They can connect to other potentially vulnerable devices using Bluetooth and send and receive text messages, for example. Basic economics is one reason. Cyberthieves are making so much money attacking Windows PCs that there hasn't been much incentive to change tactics. With smart phones proliferating in the U.S., cybercriminals are coming out of the woodwork looking for sensitive information on sophisticated mobile phones packed with special apps and Web access. One single, recent hack that Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500)investigated -- debit card numbers stolen from merchants through secretly installed keyloggers --resulted in a loss of $20 million. at: none; Criminal activity ranges from merely annoying -- freezing or slowing phone functions -- to more serious attacks, which include retrieving or erasing phone numbers and text messages stored in phone memories and relaying viruses from phones to their owners’ company computer networks. Viruses that can quickly drain battery life are also on the loose. Here are the scary numbers: Cyberattacks on mobile phones rose by a factor of six this year, according to Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) subsidiary McAfee. Four in 10 mobile users will click an unsafe link on a smartphone this year, according to Lookout Security. Yet less than a fifth of the devices run any antivirus software, according to security research organization SANS. An RSA study shows we're much more likely to click on phishing attacks on mobile devices than we are on PCs. Smartphones have become personal computers that travel around with us at all times. Mobile attacks are difficult, and the smartphone space may never be as homogeneous as the PC market, but crooks follow the cash. As smartphones become our primary devices, the cybercriminals' motivation for targeting them grows. All it will take is one slip up by Apple or Google -CNN article To top of page

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