Mobile Attacks: The Golden Age for Hackers

It’s fun to re-watch shows like “Friends” and realize that so many plot lines are irrelevant today because of technology advancements. It’s even more fun to reimagine those story lines with today’s tech advancements. Without a doubt there would have been an episode around the dim-witted Joey having his mobile phone hacked because all of his passwords were ‘1,2,3,4.’

Today, we use mobile devices for just about everything. We use them to shop, exercise, work, play games, and even watch reruns of “Friends.” So, it’s safe to say that were some of the hit shows of the ‘90s and early ‘00s re-written today, they’d feature smartphone plot lines.

The downside of this dependency is that it provides a personal portal for hackers, directly into users’ lives.

Our reliance on mobile devices combined with a general lack of knowledge about mobile security best practices has opened a whole new world for attacks. It’s become the golden age for hackers. In order to defend ourselves against increasingly personal hacks; the need to understand mobile threats is more important now than ever.

To help you defend your mobile phone from hackers, we’ve pulled together a quick guide on the most common types of malware you should look out for:

  • Malicious weblinks: These links aim to entice users with special offers on the site. Adult material sites are where most hackers target mobile phone users; in fact, 36% of all mobile traffic to malicious links originated from those types of sites!
  • WebAds: Hackers use malvertising to inject malicious advertisements into legitimate online ads and webpages. When a visitor clicks on an ad that might look legitimate, it turns out to be malware, and boom, their personal data is at risk.
  • Ransomware: This is perhaps the most devious and personal type of mobile malware tactic. Through these highly targeted attacks, hackers can hijack photos, videos, and other personal information until a fee is paid to the cyber criminal.
  • Potentially unwanted software: Junk mobile apps find their way onto devices through deceptive advertising and then install unwanted programs.
  • Information leakage: Most mobile app users are unaware that certain apps are leaking out their personal information straight to cyber criminals.

Mobile threats are growing and they’re real, but luckily there are several things you can do to protect your mobile phone from an attack.

  • Safe searches:
    • – When searching for sites on your mobile phone, check the web address for misspellings
    • – Be suspicious of advertisements and offers that seem too good to be true.
    • – Be cautious of searching hot topics. Cybercriminals use them to lure users into clicking on fake and malicious sites.
  • Know your apps:
    • – Only download apps from well-known reputable app stores.
    • – Read app reviews before you download them.
    • – Avoid blindly agreeing to permissions.

As always, to keep up with the latest security threats, make sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter and like us on Facebook.


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