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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

What to do if you get malware on your Smartphone.

The possibility of getting malware on a Smartphone is probably nothing new to most of you. The new and bad news is that the trend of mobile malware is predicted to increase in 2013. ICE (Internet Criminal Complaints) - related to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation - already highlighted this problem in October 2012.

Image Source: V3.co.uk


Peter Gibbons, head of Information Security at Network Rail, confirmed the trend at the Infosecurity Europe 2013 press conference in London, affirming that mobile malware is growing exponentially.

The real problem behind this is not handset repair, but account and data privacy. In fact behind these malwares there are organized cybercriminals, searching for good opportunities to earn millions every year. Android phones are most commonly attacked and this is a concern, especially as it accounts for more than 64% of the Smartphone market (+21% on 2011).

A recent study by Eset predicted that on 2013 "530 million people will access banking services from their smartphones; it's a 76 percent jump from 2011, when only 300 million people banked on their mobile phones." This could be a big advantage for such organizations.

Furthermore, the study shows that the most typical malicious actions are subscribing to Premium SMS numbers (40%), turning a device into a zombie (32%) and stealing information like the phone contact list, text messages or other data useful for identifying the device, such as the IMEI number (28%). Moreover it revealed that SMS Trojans are the most common threat for Smartphones.

Considering this, it is important to try to prevent malware through 3 simple actions:
  1. Having account access for Social Networks through a different email to your Gmail account
  2. Install an anti-virus on your Smartphone
  3. Check reviews about an app before installing it, even if they come from the App Store