There is no argument that the growth of mobile devices is transforming the world. Although the new “norm” presents significant advantages and opportunities for individual users and businesses, such opportunities also extend to people looking to use such advantages for crime as well.
Because of the ever-growing usage of mobile devices in the world, web threats are no longer limited to traditional PCs with security events in India focusing on mobile.
Mobile has become the new frontier for cyber-criminals to attack.
1. Malware-Ridden Apps
There are different categories of mobile malware threats and the ways that hackers trick people into getting their mobile devices infected. This year, certain mobile apps represent one of the most likely carriers of malware.
As a matter of fact, a recent report revealed that attacks from this so-called rogue mobile apps have increased by 300 percent.
Often at times, users will download applications that are perceived to be from reputable developers and companies. However, such apps are actually fakes disguised as legit, containing malware. Most users do not understand this or don’t know how to differentiate a real app to the fakes.
They will download them, give their private info and becomes infected with malware. Thousands of malicious apps are available online, with some of them have been downloaded the millionth times.
2. Fake Public Wi-Fi Networks
Who doesn’t love free Wi-Fi?
And while most users are suspicious and won’t connect to public Wi-Fi networks, some won’t even think twice to connect. As a matter of fact, even when users are aware of the certain dangers that unsecured networks provide, 80 percent of users will still connect to them.
And one of the sneakiest ways that hackers take advantage of mobile devices is via fake wireless networks. Sometimes, a public Wi-Fi network may seem reputable, however, it can be a set up for the intent of luring users to connect to the network. Once connected, hackers will have all the means to steal, change or destroy data on the mobile device to their liking.
Hackers have long relied on phishing scams to steal data— both personal and company data. The typical example involves fraudulent emails where an individual mistakenly discloses details, leading to the theft of sensitive data.
However, hackers are no longer contented with e-mails only. They are now taking it to the mobile sphere with phishing scams taking the form of text messages or SMS that tricks a user to revealing sensitive details like passwords.
Widely known as SMiShing, this mobile attack involves users receiving a message with malicious links or urging them to call the phone number provided. When the link is clicked or the user calls, the data on the phone is then easily extracted. The worst part is that the user may not be aware of the breach, especially if there’s no security software used on the device.
Ransomware—a word most were not familiar with until WannaCry made its debut in 2017, infecting devices at companies in over 150 countries.
And now, hackers are bringing ransomware to the now very lucrative space of mobile devices. The eruption of mobile ransomware has come, spreading by means of compromised apps.
Most of the time, users are tricked into downloading mobile ransomware via social network schemes since they think that they are downloading critical software or innocent content.
After it has been downloaded onto the device, it will show a fake message, accusing the user of unlawful engagement, after which it locks the phone and encrypts the files. After a certain amount is paid, usually via Bitcoin, the ransomware sends a code to decrypt the data or unlock the phone.