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Thread: Top Mobile Threats and Impacts

  1. #1
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    May 2009
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    Top Mobile Threats and Impacts

    After manufactures started producing a much better mobile platform, we forget about the lacks and negative aspect. Today we work blindly on a Tablet PC or Smartphone. Android, iOS, Windows, Symbian, etc are some of the most popular mobile platform which has given a new look to todays phone. Your phone is not just a calling device, but more than that. But as web expands and reaches to Smartphone the risk increased. Today devices running on Android are quiet prone to malware attack. We mostly find articles which discussion on features or benefits, but what about the vulnerability. A end users when buys a phone, blindly believe on the manufacturer for security stuff. They are not concerned about the development code used inside it. What they mostly look for is good features and output. Popular platform like Android offers you a Social Networking support. You can share your comments, view, videos, photos, easily with others on popular social support site.

    You can upload files from your phone or download a number of apps and games. This makes it more featured. But to some extent there are threats which are hidden. They are not visible and are not at all easy to control. If we are aware about the same then certain precaution can protect us from facing severe issue. We had heard recently about some popular websites where affected. So this states that no one is clearly safe to 100%. Threats involved some due to bugs and some due to malpractices. Like Rooting, Jailbreaking, Unlocking, etc. You overwrite the factory software, giving access to any unknown person to capture your data and information. Under company policy end user is not eligible to make changes in the form firmware or software. Also whatever apps he/she download or install from third party will be their responsibility. Now Tablets has take quiet a good place among people. You get a bigger screen and better processor to perform number of actions.

    We can shop online, we can surf and download stuff more easily. This article mostly talk about the threats and its impact. Mobile platform has now became a extensive way to interact with people. Ample of services what were on web are now available for Mobile also. Now we have to clearly discuss the impact. What thing we can face on this platform. Smartphones are those devices which are rich with Internet and app features. The most common example I can take is of Android. This OS has given birth to budget Smartphones whose feature can compare with costlier product. So here people has alternative to play tons of free games, rich applications and other customization stuff. You have a almost pc type interface on your phone. The file manager to browser the phone storage, wireless file transfer, video and audio support, etc.

    App Market :

    Every mobile operating system has a App Market. This App Market gives you single platform to find the most compatible app for your type of Mobile OS. You can blindly download and play many games, use applications and perform different stuff through it. Some of them are chargeable while some of them are free. Google Play is popular app market for Android. Recently there was news that Android App are vulnerable to malware attack. There are bugs and security holes which makes the applications more prone to attack. So your phone can freeze and face crash issue in future. I you keep confidential data in your phone you might loose that or that can be leaked instantly. Compared to other Android platform is the most unsecured. Now this was just about free apps. What about paid apps. On iOS app store there was a app recently which promise to unlock hidden feature of new iPhone OS. That was a fake app. I had visited many community which discussed on it.

    They said that it does not at all. The user has to pay $1 to buy that. Now if that app stayed on App Market even for 10 hrs the developer behind it has accumulated quiet a good amount. In this way, many apps are designed to cheat people. The makers create a contract which bind the app with your telecom provider. So when you run, some charges are automatically deducted from your phone balance. This is not a new scenario. Everyday millions of people download apps from multiple app store. Some of them buy, while some of them look for free apps. This creates a huge traffic of people connected to those app servers. By default a number of app store ask for your creating a account to access the features. This account consist of your name, location and a valid login detail. This details allow you to access the app store and get apps for free. But to some extent if your device has a malware those information can be leaked very easily. Mostly there are three type of apps that work on a mobile platform. The first is native app which is installed in your phone system.

    There are files and scripts which runs in the background. This files also connects with web to get more additional features. The second type if web based. It works on the basis of Internet connectivity or the default web browser. Web based application needs Internet support and they keep pulling data on continuous basis. For example a Facebook App. You have to login with your account and you can see updates from your profile. You can share stuff and do many things. And third type if a app that works in both way. They are installed as well as they Internet connection. No you can see that maximum apps user your Internet connection. You can find a easy add on your screen or a score update option after playing game. If you click you are redirected to a website. This things can be easily manipulated.

    Malware :

    Malware are the first prominent threat. They can enter is any form. Through a application or email attachment. Around a decade ago there were only virus. But now there are different types of virus. Malware is among one of them. A malware is type of malicious software. Assume that you had downloaded a ScreenSaver. Now this is a application. But this ScreenSaver can be loaded with malware, virus, Trojan, worms, etc. A Malware is package of all threat. The developer design the app in such a way that he integrates all the code inside a full functioning application. So when you launch that app you are running the threat also. People blindly download productive apps, games from App Market. But they are not sure about the security.

    A number of time we heard most commonly on news, that due to some app, a number of devices are affected. Once this app is inserted in your phone, it capture your data and leak on web. Through this malicious code the attacker can also user your phone connection. Malware has become one the most common threat for mobile platform. Second thing, the mobile operating system does not comes with any inbuilt security software. This software code one modified or changed can easily be overwritten by malicious tools. One free app is downloaded by millions of people and so the number of people get affected blindly.

  2. #2
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    Re: Top Mobile Threats and Impacts

    Rooting - Jail-breaking - Unlocking :

    This is another new trend which exist before but got popular with iOS. Devices running on iOS are locked with factory software. They are bug free and thus protected. But to get some additional benefit people Jailbreak their phones. They overwrite a customized OS or Firmware over the official Factory OS. This is same like using a pirated operating system by removing the original (license copy) and making your device open for attack. Whenever a new version of iOS releases there is a Jailbreaking option available. People do this to run free apps. But they are not aware that they are putting their device to risk. Today they might be not using the phone for shopping or banking transaction but in future this would create a bigger impact. Rooting is another same type of thing done on Android.

    It is already warned in news that Android can face heavy malware issue. But still people root their phone to access the phone rom and do what they want. This are done on free basis by downloading a tool on web. What you really think, those tools are 100% secure and will not harm you at any cost. The device might be a cheaper alternative for you but indirectly users are contributing in destroying a valid mobile platform which is used by many. Attackers mostly encourage people to use free software, or root their phone so that it can be easier for them to access your confidential information. To some extent this thing also affects your Telecom provider. As we all are connected to a single network.

    Pirated Applications --

    Pirated Applications are clone of paid apps. For example you find a game on Google Play for some price. You can find that game for free on Torrent and other download site. I check on torrent for a monthly pack and verify what they provide. In this monthly pack, the provider adds up many commercial app and they work similar to purchased one. But they are not secure. They are modified and injected with malicious code. You might be not aware, but this is what really happens. For example many people uses pirated Windows operating system. This pirated os is not at all eligible for updates and has many bugs. It is a modified version done unofficially. People think it is a easier to save some money, but you are simply keeping your backdoor open. Pirated software's are the highest source of vulnerabilities and bugs.
    Google play is one of the most affected app store which has many pirated applications.

    Lack of better Security Applications --

    A number of mobile os does not comes with powerful security software support. I am here talking about antivirus solution. The reason can be low hardware support on this devices. There are some made for Android devices but to some extent they are not so effective. Mobile OS is under development and in coming time this will be more secure for people. What really matters is safe practices from user end also. There are people who are engaged in malpractices and they don't keep quiet. They try to catch people in some form by enticing them through free tools and services. This create a adverse effect which is hardly notice by others. But this makes more complicated for those who really works on official applications and work hard to give genuine product.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    ThumbsUp Re: Top Mobile Threats and Impacts

    Wow...really useful tip and I'm sure many of them not aware of this and this might harm their device..

    Sorry to ask this!! but you have mentioned about android and ios..how about Maemo apps which are downloaded from the app manager via n900

    cause am using one and eager to know abt that..also any tip reg the maemo or meego os and their apps would be appreciated!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Re: Top Mobile Threats and Impacts

    Quote Originally Posted by bond19 View Post
    Wow...really useful tip and I'm sure many of them not aware of this and this might harm their device..

    Sorry to ask this!! but you have mentioned about android and ios..how about Maemo apps which are downloaded from the app manager via n900

    cause am using one and eager to know abt that..also any tip reg the maemo or meego os and their apps would be appreciated!!
    If i am correct then Maemo Extras repositories comes pre-installed in Nokia N900 phone and normally, it contains applications that have been tested and verified for compatibility, safety, proper functionality, etc. And you may want to restrict yourself to be using only this repository, other ones can be used for beta testing or development.

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