In this ever-evolving technological era, mobile security is becoming the topmost concern — not only for organisations but for individuals as well. The main reasons behind it is the increasing number of data breaches that the world is witnessing. Nowadays, many companies across the world are adopting the concept of BYOD — it not only includes laptops but mobiles as well. Also, even if there is no BYOD involved, employees access corporate data from their smartphones and that is definitely something that bothers a company.
Talking about mobile device security, many have the misconception that its all about malware; however, that is not the case — the rate of mobile devices getting affected by malware is significantly less compared to a computer. You all might be wondering then — what are the threats?
A mobile device gets in the least expected way and that too when you least expect it. In this article, we are going to some of the notorious mobile threats.
Adware and Spyware
As more and more applications have started to come for mobile, the number of mobile devices hacks are also increasing. Hacker across the world are building lookalike apps and sharing it. However, those apps are nothing but malicious pieces of code that spies on your mobile device. Adware and Spyware over the last couple of years have impacted a lot of devices — these notorious applications pop ads on the screen, and tries to redirect the user to another malicious website. This is one form.
Another form of this kind of fake apps are sophisticated spy apps. For example, suppose you have downloaded an application to save deleted WhatsApp text and the app is working actually well and fine. It is serving its purpose. However, have you ever realized that to save those chats you have given that app access to private chat? There are other spyware too in the form of random application that spies on your browser and other platforms, trying to collect data about you.
Drive-by download has become a very famous way of bringing people to the battleground of hackers. It is basically an unintended download of a software or application from the Internet. Drive-by download has also two aspects — one is when you download a software without knowing the consequences and the other is any download that happens without a person’s knowledge. In both cases, the end result is always about compromising the device.
Drive-by download is one of the major reasons for adware and spyware getting installed on mobile devices.
This is another type of threat that is year by year becoming more popular. The concept behind phishing application is the same as phishing website — a hacker creates an application with a concept and asks the user to provide his credentials. This type of attack is mostly carried out using Adult or dating application. So, it is advised that cross-check the application before installing.
Google has taken significant steps to prevent fake apps from getting onboard on the Play Store; however, there are still many apps that are managing to make it to the store, and if not Google Play Store then they are using third-party platform.
Free Wi-Fi is one of the major sources of network spoofing and mobile users are more likely to fall prey to network spoofing. It is also considered to be one of the most dangerous ways of cyber attacks as it could affect a number of people connected to the network. It is usually carried in places where free Wi-Fi is available. Hackers create a hotspot that looks like a genuine a Wi-Fi connection, and every time someone gets connected to the network the attackers take a look at the network for credentials like username and password.
A lot of people tend to have the same credentials for several other accounts and if they fall prey to this attack, they might face a big consequence. So, every time you connect to free a Wi-Fi network and if it asks you to make a login username and password, make sure it’s unique and different.
Compared to all the other threats, Cryptojacking is relatively new. If you don’t know what Cryptojacking is, it is an unauthorized use of a computer, tablet, mobile devices, or even a connected home device to mine for cryptocurrency. This attack completely uses a device’s power to mine cryptocurrency; meaning, the phones that are affected are likely to experience a very poor battery life. That is not all, the device could even suffer from damage due to overheating components.
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