I was reading an article on Help Net Security about malware and mobile devices. Malware has, in effect, matured to such a place in its evolutionary cycle where they have grown in numbers that are staggering. What makes things worse is the fact that both people, in general, and businesses, as a matter of habit, have entwined these mobile devices into their lives in such a fashion that they are a necessary tool and our life blood, so to say.
There is more malware than ever before which makes it difficult for the average user to know that they are safe from its potentially devastating effects. Unfortunately, most people are oblivious to the potential attacks and problems, and in turn wonder why & how such a thing could have happened?
The next problem is the fact that malware is becoming smarter every day, some evolving into a polymorphic problem. Cybercriminals are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, which enable them to profit from our foolish endeavors.
The wall of protection is next to non-existent. People are downloading and installing more applications (app) on their phone than ever before, which creates and cultivates a field of opportunity for cybercriminals. I would be next to nothing for someone with the know-how to either create an app for mobile devices or crack one and reintroduce it into the app store. Think about it, as of January 2011, there were approximately 90,000 apps for the iPad and roughly 475,000 for the iPhone; same time frame, there seemed to be about 250,000 apps for the android platform. These numbers do not account for the other platforms out there in the market and I lean toward them because they are the most popular and growing in market share. A malicious minded individual could have a field day with this by just injecting, or infecting, a few apps.
By researching the topic of the most popular apps, the ones that would cause the most devastation to people (business or common user) would be music related, social media, navigating, and games. These seem to be, in my opinion, the most widely used by a large demographic of the mobile device carrying population. This is not for fear for the purpose of generating fear itself, but rather to get you to think! Your mobile device(s) are essentially a computer and no one I know would leave their computer unprotected these days – unless of course they never hooked up to the internet, just figure the odds on that? Poking around I determined a guestimate that 90% of American Households posses at least one computer (this percentage seemed pretty constant) and approximately 75% of American Households have internet access (I saw a low of 62% and as high as 85%, so I went just above the average). The funny thing is most people who do not posses a computer, even on the poverty line in the economic spectrum, seem to have the means to possess a smartphone.
Now, there are some free apps out there for protection and there are some for cost. How good they are, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps the best place to check this out would be Consumer Reports or some thing like that. Look into it and keep your stuff backed up so you can recover from something potentially catastrophic.
Until the next time my friends!