Can Phones get Viruses? The stunning rise of Stealth Mobile Cyber Attacks
It's important to be aware of trends in the world of hacking and cybersecurity. Did you know that cybersecurity researchers are warning of a 500% increase in mobile cyberattacks?
With the rise of smartphones the world is increasingly fitting into your pocket.
Many of us would rather have our wallets stolen than our cell phones!
There's so much sensitive information in most people's cellphones and the general lack of cybersecurity awareness and practices is leaving you exposed.
Let's dive into it. Sophisticated hackers are now putting more and more attention on getting access to your mobile device.
These shady characters want to access your passwords, bank details, sensitive photos and even take full control of your smartphone!
Mobile Malware Attacks on the Rise
Cybercriminals are ramping up attempts to hack your device and most often the method is malicious text messages and 3rd party applications. As mentioned earlier, a report from Cybersecurity researches at Proofpoint suggested a 500% surge in mobile malware attacks during the first few months of 2022. You can read more about that research HERE The main aim of the vast majority of these malware attacks is to steal login information for emails and bank accounts. However, some attacks also include sophisticated malware capable of snooping on your audio and video, tracking your location and even wiping all of your data!! Mobile malware is still relatively new, so it's a' new battleground for cybersecurity professionals.
I have an Apple Smartphone so I'm safe right?
Unfortunately, it does not matter if you have an Apple or Android device as both types of smartphones are targets for hackers. HOWEVER, we will tell you that Android devices are more at risk to hackers because of the nature of the open-sourced Android Marketplace and the ability to download third-party apps.
You need to be very careful when downloading third-party apps as you could be putting your device and all your sensitive information at risk.
What is the Number One way hackers target mobile devices?
The most notorious method is SMS phishing attacks in which the hacker sends the victim a text(SMS) message containing links designed to trick users into entering their passwords and sensitive information.
Methods include fake missed amazon deliveries, fake government alerts related to coivd, fake messages from your bank and tax related scams. One famous case is the malware "TangleBot" which first appeared in 2021 and is delivered mainly via fake package-delivery notifications. In addition to being able to steal sensitive information and control devices, TangleBot can overlay other mobile apps and intercept camera footage and audio recordings.
How can I protect myself from mobile cyber attacks?
The number one way to protect yourself is to not respond to any unknown text messages or phone calls. If you receive any messages claiming to be the government, your doctor, your bank or any other important entity be very careful and don't panic. It is best to call these providers or entities to confirm the information that they are requesting first.
No matter how real the text, please be very careful.
If you have an Android device PLEASE be very careful about the third-party apps that you download. Have you reviewed the developer? Do you have any friends that have used the app? Have you google and researched the company and the founder? Is the founder a real person or anon? All questions to ask yourself first prior to considering downloading a third-party application. In conclusion, please be aware that mobile cyber attacks are on the rise and be CAREFUL when using your phones and entering sensitive information.