Smart phones – the prey for high-tech crimes

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VietnamNet English - 71 month(s) ago 15 readings

Smart phones – the prey for high-tech crimes

VietNamNet Bridge – More and more holes and malicious codes on smart phones have been discovered recently, while experts have warned that smart phones could be the targets for high-tech crimes.

At the 2012 national workshop on cloud computing and information security which took place in Hanoi on March 22 and 23, Nguyen Viet The, former Head of the Informatics Agency under the Ministry of Public Security, said that more alarming troubles were found in 2011, while the attacks of the crimes became more well organized.

In early November 2011, security expert TrevorEckhant discovered a software piece of CarrierIQ, the software that can controls the smart phone efficiency, quietly recording the operation of a lot of smart phones all over the world.

As such, it might happen that millions of smart phones running on smart operation systems Android, BlackBerry and Nokia were being watched by the firm. The expert compared the software piece with a new Rootkit, giving warnings about the information security for smart phone devices.

“In 2011, experts also discovered a lot of holes on the smart phones manufactured by Samsung, Motorola, and HTC,” The said.

Also according to The, together with the strong development of 3G services, users nowadays can easily surf on Internet with just several keys on their phones. However, this increases the risks of virus attacks to smart phones.

“After computers, mobile phones have become the prey for high technology crimes,” The commented.

Sharing the same view with The, Vu Quoc Khanh, Director of the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT), said that many malicious codes have appeared on some operation systems, including Android, while the number of malware has been increasing rapidly.

Tran Van Hoa from C50 Agency of the Ministry of Public Security said that a variant of malware called ZitMo can penetrate into smart phones to steal the codes sent by banks to clients via SMS messages and withdraw money from the users’ bank accounts.

The malware is usually on the “standby” mode until an online banking service is implemented, which then allowed it to steal information about the credit cards, according to Hoa.

Most recently, BKAV, a well-known network security firm in Vietnam, discovered a software piece on Symbian which could spread out via messages when clicking a link. When users click the link, the software would automatically install in the smart phones.

In late January 2012, Symantec informed about the appearance of a new Trojan called “Android.Counterclank”, a variant of “Android.Tonclank”, which existed before. This kind of Trojan has many apps on Android Market, and once it is downloaded, they will send information of the devices, including the MAC addresses, SIM serials, IMEI, IMSI to different servers.

Symantec has estimated that Android Counterclank has been installed on 1-5 million Android phones.

While more and more malicious codes appear, users’ awareness of the information security has not been much improved.

The has warned that in 2012, hackers would continue attacking smart mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets through the holes, so as to steal the information about credit cards. The hackers well understand that VIP like using the devices, while their security measures remain very weak.

Nguyen Tri Thanh from VNISA, the information security association, also said that the biggest obstacle now is that users hesitate to install the anti-virus software, because they think that the software is unnecessary, while it may make the smart phones run more slowly.

Walter Lee, Managing Director of e-Cop Group, also said at the event that smart phone users are facing the information security risk every hour and every day. Meanwhile, people still make the old mistakes and do not intend to apply necessary measures to protect their information.

Source: Buu Dien

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