Mobile Devices and Social Networks Big Target for Cyber Criminals

According to a recent security industry report, social networking sites and smartphones will probably become a big target for cyber criminals, with users of the Android operating system, Facebook and Twitter being particularly vulnerable to attack.

According to an article over on the BBC, annual threat analysis by Symantec shows that the tech is being ever more user to spread malicious code, although mobile attacks is still small when compared to online attacks like phishing.

Vulnerabilities in mobile OS’s is on the rise, in 2009 there were 115 while in 2010 there were 163, and in some cases devices were exploited and used to install malicious software on Android smartphones, which suggests cyber criminals are seeing the smartphone as a rewarding hacking device.

Symantect security operations manager Orla Cox, says, “It is something we have started to see happen, albeit on a small level. It allows people to do a variety of things from intercepting SMS messages to dialling toll numbers. They have opened up the possibility of what is there.”

Apparently 6 different types of malware have been discovered lurking in apps, which were distributed via a Chinese download service, while several pieces of malware were discovered on iPhone handsets although the iPhone has to be jailbroken for it to get past Apple’s security.

When it comes to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, several different types of threat was highlighted by Symantec, the most prevalent being web links to sites containing rogue apps and malware, with Symantec estimating that 1-in-6 links posted to Facebook lead to malicious software.

There are concerns over short URL’s with apparently 65% of malware links on social networks used shortened URL’s.

Just goes to show that cyber criminals are always on the lookout to attack something whether it’s your smartphone or your social network, so you need to be wary of what you click on, any of our readers been a target of a malicious attack?

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