April 12, 2011

Smartphones and Social Networks Targeted by Malware

Malware attacks are now more frequently focused on social networks and mobile devices. In Symantec's latest Internet Security Threat Report, the company noted that the number of malware attacks delivered through the Web practically doubled from 2009, with 65% of malicious links on Facebook arriving in the form of shortened URLs. The company also took special care to highlight the growing field of smartphone based attacks, in particular those targeting Android. Many of the pieces of Facebook and Android malware rely on the laziness of users. Apps must specifically request permissions, but many people simply click through the notifications without reading them carefully. And as time passes, the attacks will only become more sophisticated.

For now, attacks seem focused on harvesting personal data from profiles and sending text messages to premium services, which earn a commission for the scammer. But as users start turning to their cell phones for mobile banking and shopping more frequently, they're likely to become a much bigger target for digital crooks.

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