Hackers targeting mobile devices

Hackers targeting mobile devices

Cyber criminals have been attempting to break into computers to steal passwords and sensitive information for a number of years, but they are increasingly attempting to steal data from mobile devices.

The rise in the number of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, being used for work-related purposes means that hackers are now turning their attentions to these gadgets, as they contain a goldmine of sensitive and valuable information.

A study conducted by AppRiver looked at data from more than 15 billion messages and millions of pieces of malware sent to its customers and found that almost 13 billion messages contained spam and 171 million contained viruses.

Fred Touchette, senior security analyst at the organisation, said: "It all is financially motivated. As long as it is effective and working for them, we will continue to see it."

According to the Wall Street Journal, the firm found that most of the malware blocked by AppRiver's products were aimed to exploit the information contained by the devices, with code used to open a device and allow it to be remotely commanded the most popular attack.

Mr Touchette noted that device manufacturers and the people who buy them for enterprise purposes must do a better job of protecting smartphones and tablets.

He noted: "One of the issues is getting people to care enough. A lot of the people I talk to don't think it will happen to them, or they think they are protected when they can be doing more and keeping everything up to date.

"This is especially true on the mobile side. People are really slow to get on board, and there are not a whole lot of options out there as far as mobile anti-virus [products]. Some exist but they are not the greatest yet."

Mobile device management software is one way for a business to improve its security measures, as firms can control the devices being used by employees, but it is vital to encourage staff to understand the dangers cyber attacks and tailor their behaviour appropriately.