Tag: hacking

Android mobile security to be put to the test in 2013

Android mobile securitySecurity firms highlight spike in malware targeting Android

Android is one of the most popular smart phone platforms in the world. Tech-savvy consumers praise Android for its variety of features and ease of use, but consumers are not the only ones interested in the platform. According to two firms specializing in mobile security — Eset and Lookout Mobile Security –, Android has become rampantly popular among hackers. These hackers are expected to put a great deal of attention on the Android platform in 2013, introducing a veritable tide of new malware that specifically targets the operating system.

Hackers target Android as operating system becomes more capable of mobile commerce

Google’s Android operating system is among the most powerful and widely used in the world. As such, it is often the subject of interest among hackers who are keen on exploiting the information found on Android mobile devices. Over the years, malware has become more sophisticated in order to adapt to the changes being made to the Android platform. While activity in the hacking community remains high, mobile security firms expect hacking activity to spike in the coming year as Android devices become more popular and capable of participating in mobile commerce.

18 million users expected to fall victim to malware

Lookout Mobile Security predicts that some 18 million Android users throughout the world will have their device affected by malware of some kind. Consumers outside of the U.S. are expected to encounter malware more frequently than those within the U.S. This may be due to the fact that most major hacking groups are located outside of the U.S. in order to avoid some of the harsh penalties the U.S. government has in place to deter hackers.

Mobile security to become a major issue in 2013

While 18 million is certainly a high number, Robert Nelson of Android Community suggests that this number is small when compared to the total number of consumers with Android mobile devices. Nonetheless, mobile security is expected to be a major concern for Android consumers in the coming year. There are various applications that consumers can download to help protect their devices from exploitation, however, and these applications are likely to become more capable as hackers attempt to adopt more sophisticated methods of breaching Android security.

Malicious QR codes growing in number


Malicious QR codesSymantec sees increase in malicious QR codes

Though QR codes are struggling to find a foothold with many consumers, their use is growing among a very particular demographic: Hackers. Symantec, a leading security solutions provides, has issued warnings concerning the growth of malicious QR codes in high-traffic areas. According to Symantec, hackers are beginning to place malicious QR codes in densely populated areas in order to increase  their own reach and attack mobile devices that may contain valuable information.

Popular marketing tools are also gaining the attention of hackers

QR codes are popular marketing tools, allowing businesses to stay engaged with consumers in a dynamic way. The codes are widely used as information distribution tools and as part of loyalty programs from big-name retailers. The codes have proven effective in the past, but many consumers have begun avoiding the codes for a variety of reasons. Security is among these reasons, and Symantec suggests that the time has come for consumers to take mobile security more seriously.

Hackers using QR code stickers to attack consumer information

According to Symantec, hackers are generating malicious QR codes, printing them as stickers, and covering legitimate QR codes with these malicious variants. Advertisements from major retail companies are popular targets, and passersby can rarely tell that a malicious QR codes have been used to cover a legitimate one. Consumers often scan these codes in order to access special deals being offered by retailers, but find  that their phone has been infected with a virus instead.

Applications can help keep mobile devices safe from exploitation

There are a variety of ways to keep a mobile device secure. Symantec, as well as other security firms, offer mobile applications that act as a form of anti-virus platform for smart phones and tablets. Some of these mobile security applications can also investigate a QR code before it is scanned to determine whether it is associated with a legitimate or malicious website. These applications can significantly reduce the danger that exists with malicious QR codes and keep a consumer’s information safe.