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Cyber Threats Impacting Smartphones that You Should Know About

Cyber Threats Impacting Smartphones that You Should Know About
  • Smartphones are used for a number of things every day — from transferring funds to accessing official information.
  • Infiltrating into a smartphone means access to a treasure of personal and confidential information for hackers.

Let’s look at the common cybersecurity threats for smartphones and how to stay protected.

Social engineering

This attack that involves manipulating human emotions has extended to social media and gaming sites.

  • A lot of traffic has moved to mobile phones, because of the ease of operation primarily. In fact, most emails are said to be viewed first on mobile phones. This has led hackers to continue phishing efforts on email.
  • Vishing and Smishing are also common tactics that hackers employ on smartphone users.

What you should do: Verify the authenticity of emails, callers, or messages before transferring funds or revealing any information.

Malware-laced sites and apps

By hiding malicious code in seemingly-legitimate applications or websites, attackers gain access to smartphones.

  • Researchers discovered that few websites were used in watering hole attacks against visitors using iPhones.
  • Google Play Store was in the news a number of times for accidentally hosting apps that had malware. Some of these apps had millions of downloads.

What you should do: Do not download applications from unauthorized places or access unsecured websites. If you suspect that any app has malware, uninstall it immediately.

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks

Considering the increasing availability of public Wi-Fi and the availability of valuable data on smartphones, ensuring security is more important than ever now.

  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks can hijack sessions, harvest cookies, or deploy packet sniffers to gather information.
  • Using VPNs is a method of ensuring security, but with VPN apps containing malware, it is essential to be careful when picking one.

What you should do: Avoid connecting to public networks as much as possible. Investing in a good VPN can also help with security-related concerns.

Simjacker flaw

This is a recently discovered vulnerability that hijacks SIM cards, across multiple devices and service providers.

  • Simjacker vulnerability is exploited to perform sensitive commands in the infected device and track location.
  • The infection begins by sending a message to the targeted device. However, no trace of this message will be found in the inbox or outbox.

What you should do: If you think you might be vulnerable to this attack, contact your carrier to check if necessary filters have been implemented against this attack.

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