Is Your Mobile Phone An Infected Host?

If you say these words out loud then maybe you will be able to keep your mobile phone safe from the bad guys. Say the words “My phone is just like a computer” and you will be able to remember to take the steps that are necessary to keep it safe. There are too many people out there who forget this fact and they fail to do the steps that are necessary to keep their phones safe. While they know that they can perform a lot of the same function with their phone as they can with a computer they still refuse to treat it as such. Because it is called a mobile phone and not a mobile computing device, they treat it as if it is a phone first and a computer second. But in reality most people use their mobile phones more for the computing functionality and less for the ability to talk to other people.

infected-host

And it is really important that you start to remember that because the bad guys are quoting that motto to themselves every day. They know more than anyone that the new mobile phones coming out these days are more like computers than phones and they are handling their new attacks in that same manner. Gone are the days where the bad guys would just worry about one vector and that being the home computer. Now they know that they can attack you from several vectors and that is just what they are doing. They are looking for new ways to attack the mobile phones that are out there and that is because of several reasons.

One of the main reasons that they are attacking the phones more often than the computers is because people are using them more. The average person who has both a smartphone and a computer are using the smartphone more than they are using the computer. So it makes sense to go after that target more often. Another reason why we are seeing attackers go after the smartphone more often instead of the computer is because the security of the average smartphone is easier to bypass than the security on the average desktop operating system. The makers of the average computer operating system have had years to perfect the level of security on the machines. As a matter of fact is quite hard to attack the average computer these days through purely technical means. That is why a lot of attacks these days have a social aspect to them. You will see phishing attacks more often than any other attack because it is easier to do. So if an attacker goes after the average smartphone they are able to avoid a lot of the complications that they would find on a computer. The hardest part is trying to learn a new platform.

If you are smartphone user the big worry that you have these days is whether someone is using your phone as a host. A lot of attackers are using smartphones as part of botnets these days. While this type of attack is fairly new it is starting to grow in popularity and you will only see it grow more and more. This type of attack is especially prevalent in the Chinese hacker community on Android based phones. But you should not think that an attack like this is only going to be used in the world of Android phones. If it sees anymore success it is going to spread out and be used on different types of phones in the future. There has been plenty of botnet software found on rooted IPhones already.

Always be aware with what is being installed on your phone. You never know which software you can fully trust.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. We find that phishing attacks are occurring more frequently and the people on the other end are getting smarter and smarter. What security tips/practices do you recommend for smartphone users to stay secure from these attacks?

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