It's one thing to be able to take steps to secure your device and the information on it so that neither falls into the hands of the wrong people, but now, just as the internet has become infested with malware and software scammers, mobile cyber-criminals are targeting your smartphone with an array of new and even more malicious scams.
According to the venerable internet security organization McAfee, a whole new wave of hackers is taking aim at the mobile part of cyber-space, developing and releasing bot attacks and other software scams that are both more sophisticated than their internet counterparts and also much more difficult to spot.
McAfee has compiled and released their first ever report concerning this trend entitled "Mobile Security: McAfee Consumer Trends Report" in which the latest developments in mobile security are outlined.
Here is what they found:
- Cyber-criminals lure in children with black hat SEO: The McAfee Labs team found 4 app stores that used some version of the words “cut the rope” to lure people in (especially children) who are looking to download the popular candy-eating monster game that goes by the same name.
- Increased risk of downloading a bad app: Consumers have a 1 in 6 chance of downloading apps that include malware or suspicious URLS.
- Google Play store houses risky apps: 75% of malware-infected apps downloaded by the McAfee user base were downloaded from Google Play, showing that criminals are going to great lengths to insert attacks into trusted sources.
- Mobile cyber-criminals are more sophisticated and determined: 40% of malware present more than one danger showing that criminals are developing much more sophisticated hacks on mobile platforms.
- Drive-by downloads are a real risk: McAfee Labs saw its first mobile drive-by downloads in 2012 and expects to see more of this type of attack in 2013.
As the industry becomes more aware of and concerned about these developments, new and better mobile security solutions are being introduced to the consumer marketplace.
You can check the McAfee Security Advice Center for information on how to protect your devices.
Verizon customers can utilize two security apps, one free and the other $1.99 a month to help secure their devices. Just sign on to the mobile security web page to find the apps and many more security tips and resources.
Whichever app you choose, it is imperative that you do choose one to help keep your phone, the information it contains, and the data that it consumes safe from those who would take advantage of unprotected devices.