November 9, 2011
Huge surge seen in smartphone malware
Malware designed to attack smartphones has increased substantially over the past four months, according to recent research.
Conducted by a national online security initiative and published as part of the Get Safe Online week, the study found that malware on smartphones has risen by 800 per cent as cyber criminals shift their focus towards the expensive handsets.
The change could be due to the fact that people in the UK are increasingly using their mobiles for more than just calling and texting. For example, 17 per cent were found to use their smartphones to complete monetary transactions, while more than 22 per cent downloaded the latest apps at least once a month, allowing criminals an easy way in to their gadgets.
Francis Maude, minister for cyber security, commented: “More and more people are using their smartphone to transmit personal and financial information over the internet, whether it's for online banking, shopping or social networking.”
She added that it is “important to be vigilant” if consumers intend to use their phone to access the internet and save time.
In addition to using a smartphone to steal data, cyber criminals are able to programme a hijacked phone to make phone calls, send texts or access the internet, putting the gadget's owner at further financial risk.