Criminal hackers never sleep, it seems. Just when you think you've battened down the hatches and fully safeguarded yourself or your business from electronic security risks, along comes a new exploit to keep you up at night. It might be an SMS text message with a malevolent payload or an errant signal designed to jam GPS receivers.
Whether you're protecting corporate data or simply trying to keep your personal files safe, these threats -- some rapidly growing, others still emerging -- put your systems at risk. Fortunately, security procedures and tools are available to help you win the fight.
1. Text-message malware
While smartphone viruses are still fairly rare, text-message attacks are becoming more common, according to Rodney Joffe, senior vice president and senior technologist at mobile messaging company Neustar and director of the Conficker Working Group, a coalition of security researchers that came together to fight the malware known as Conficker. PCs are fairly well protected today, he says, so some black-hat hackers are now targeting mobile devices. Their incentive is mostly financial: Text messaging provides a way to break into devices and make money.
Khoi Nguyen, group product manager for mobile security at Symantec, confirmed that text-message attacks aimed at smartphone operating systems are commonplace now that people are increasingly reliant on mobile devices. It's not just consumers who are at risk, he adds. Any employee who falls for a text-message ruse using a company smartphone can jeopardize the business's network and data and possibly cause a compliance violation. Read more...