Is Your Smartphone Safe From Mobile Hacking?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

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Recent headlines regarding the hacking of celebrity cell phones by reporters in the employ of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch have brought much needed attention to issue of mobile phone security.

The recent revelations of ongoing and systematic mobile phone hacks by News of the World journalists even has members of the UK Parliament and members of the US Congress calling for further investigations.

But how concerned should the average citizen be about their privacy and security where mobile devices are concerned?

Consumer privacy and security experts are warning that the devices may be more vulnerable than consumers may realize, though the likelihood of being targeted is remote as compared to that of high profile persons such as celebrities and other newsmakers.

The biggest threats to consumers would probably manifest in the form of social engineering exploits, such as criminals calling or emailing individuals posing as company representatives in an effort to get the targets to reveal sensitive information such as account numbers and passwords.

Consumers who fail to reset default passwords to more secure login credentials may also find themselves at risk, and experts recommend that everyone use strong alphanumeric passwords employing both upper and lowercase characters.

Android users may be at greater risk to more sophisticated hacking techniques that employ malware designed to harvest sensitive information because the devices use open source code and Google allows third-party developers to issue applications directly into the Android Marketplace.

“Android is more vulnerable because it’s a more open system. While Google does vet its apps, some do slip by that are malicious," said long-time Infosec Island contributor Robert Siciliano an interview with Mashable's Todd Wasserman.

Mobile users should exercise caution and common sense when downloading applications, making sure to note the types of permissions the software requests, such as access to the internet and stored contact information, but the greater threat to consumers is still remains the Windows based PC.

”The low hanging fruit is still the PC. If you are a criminal hacker, Microsoft’s OS is the most hacked software on the planet," said Siciliano.

But that may not be the case for long, as mobile device usage is expected to continue its dramatic climb over the next several years.

“If I had money right now, I’d bet on the Russian mafia. Mobile hacking is going to be huge," said Steve Santorelli, director of global outreach at the Internet security research group Team Cymru.

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Kevin McAleavey In my next article tomorrow covering how operating systems are their own worst nightmare, even bigger than the fail in the antivirus industry, I'll be going into Android towards the end of it and how google has thrown security under the bus.

Android has now become the second biggest petrie dish, rivalling Microsoft.
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Ruvane Cuner Mobile phones suit our fast-paced way of life to a T. Having the Internet at our fingertips and in our pockets seems almost a necessity today as we get around the increasingly-technological intricacies of our daily lives. For a growing many, cellular devices have changed laptops and PCs altogether, leaving iPhones and Androids as their sole access to cyberspace. But others believe we should continue carefully. Same topic here Mobile devices huge target for hackers in 2012 . Hackers are on their best techniques in doing cyber crimes. So that user's safe browsing is an effective way to prevent them.
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