Attacks on mobile devices are more common than you think. Mobile device owners are frequently victims of data theft, involuntary subscriptions to pay-to-text services, credit card theft and malware infections which can capture data entered into the device.
The wide range of vulnerabilities in operating systems like Symbian, iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile are a threat user’s privacy and information.
Cell phones as well as computers can be infected with viruses, worms, trojans and bots known as malware, their objective is to gain partial or total control of the devices.
The most popular attacks to cell phones are: Smishing, DoS (Denial of Service), Malware and Crimeware.
According to Vadin M. Corrales, systems engineer for Fortinet, the problem is that many of these devices do not have antivirus software installed and some are not even take protected with passwords either for the system or for the SIM in the case of GSM networks.
Andres Morales Zamudio, presales engineer at Ximark Technologies, explains that the increase in attacks to mobile devices is because smartphones are more popular than ever, and they come loaded with extra functions which open the door for more threats.
Some of the most common malware infections for mobile operating systems are the GGTracker and Droid Dream which affect the performance of the Android OS, which is used to run phones designed by Google, LG, Samsung and Sony.
Worms like Ikee area headache for Apple’s iOS, they can copy and send SMS messages to a remote host, where then the root password is made available for the invader allowing them to send any commands to the device.
Experts also point out that Trojans are among the most common malware threats to mobile devices because they pose as legitimate applications. Symantec Data revealed that hackers have generated this malware from scratch. In many cases, they infected users by inserting malicious code into legitimate applications on websites.
Computer security experts predict that the treat of virus and malware will increase amount smartphones, and suggest the creation of security controls to mitigate the increase in the production and delivery of malware to smartphones.
We recommend upgrading the operating system, verifying websites legitimacy when buying something, checking suspicious text messages that are received and if possible avoid public wireless networks.