Thursday, July 12, 2012
By: Angela Render
For those of you who took my webinar on cyber security you’ll recall that I predicted that smartphones would be one of the fastest growing vectors for cyber attack. According to security firm Trend Micro, I was spot on in that prediction.
The firm had predicted that it would delete around 11,000 malware samples from droid OS smartphones in the second quarter of 2012. They ended up deleting 25,000, more then double their prediction. They now predict that the number will grow exponentially as the year progresses.
We didn’t get a chance to go into smartphone security much in the webinar due to the time constraints. We mentioned that the phones are used for email, web surfing and text messaging much in the way our computers are, which leaves them vulnerable to compromises similarly to a desktop (infected file attachments, infected websites, links to infected sites etc.) What we didn’t talk about was the method of infection that is the fastest growing for Android OS phones: malicious apps made available for download on Google’s Play store. There were around 5,000 new malicious apps found in the first quarter of 2012, and security experts predict that since this vector of attack is extremely lucrative, it will accelerate.
Don’t think you iPhone users are immune. InformationWeek reported on July 9th that a malicious app made it past Apple Censors and into the Apple App store as well as onto Google Play.
Practicality often trumps security and in this instance, I think the usefulness of smartphones will win out. So here are some steps you can take:
Life happens. You need to constantly plan to mitigate any damage caused by an accident.
I know it’s one more thing you need to be aware of, but once you get in the habit of asking the paranoid questions and listening to the answers, safe smartphone will not take up much of your time and could save you embarrassment as well as money.