Identity Theft Expert Robert Siciliano
Mobile Internet access and mobile service usage is growing rapidly and cyber criminals are expected to pay more attention to this sector. Mobile device platforms compete for innovation created by application developers and other content creators who are increasingly demanding more device access. As their requests grow in numbers and they distribute their products more widely, security breaches will be inevitable.
Mobile phones used to be bulky and cumbersome; they had to be carried in bags or briefcases. Then they became chunky, heavy bricks. Clearly, cell phones have evolved. Today’s mobile phone is a compute, that rivals many desktops and laptops being manufactured today. I’m continually blown away at the capabilities of my iPhone.
What makes Mobile phones vulnerable is the speed and advancement of technology and businesses continued demand for products and services that work on a phone. In other countries almost all banking is done on a phone.
Complicating matters is spyware. Spyware was created as a legitimate technology for PCs. Spyware tracks and records social network activities, online searches, chats, instant messages, emails sent and received, websites visited, keystrokes typed and programs launched. It can be the equivalent of digital surveillance, revealing every stroke of the user’s mouse and keyboard. As a virus, spyware on a PC or phone is an immediate compromise of that phone’s data.
When anti-virus vendors like McAfee introduce anti-malware solution to secure Android-based smartphones, then you know mobile phone hacking has gone mainstream. The McAfee® VirusScan® Mobile technology is available now for users of Android and Windows Mobile-based smartphones providers.
The scary part is mobile phone spying software is affordable and very powerful. I worked with Good Morning America (GMA) on this issue.
GMA found thousands of sites promoting cell phone spying software, boasting products to “catch cheating spouses,” “bug meeting rooms” or “track your kids.” Basic cell phone spying software costs as little as $50.“ Someone can easily install a spyware program on your phone that allows them to see every single thing you do all day long, via the phone’s video camera. GMA spent $350 to get the features that remotely activate speaker phones, intercept live calls and instantly notify you every time a call is made.
Not all spyware is bad. Certainly if you install spyware on your 12 year old daughters phone, it’s to monitor and protect her, but when installed unknowingly on a phone that’s used for mCommerce, or business applications, then there is cause to be concerned.