One of the most common devices are using now a days to help with your life is a smartphone. A smartphone is basically a combination of cellular and computing functionality. Mobile devices have become integral and ubiquitous in everyone’s lives, and they have attracted the interest of criminal hackers to steal your vital information.
What is a Smartphone Threat or Scam?
Like spyware and viruses that can infect your smartphone, various security threats can affect mobile devices.
Types of Threats or Scams
Downloadable applications can present many types of security issues for mobile devices. “Malicious apps” may look fine on a download site, but they are specifically designed to commit fraud. Even some legitimate software can be exploited for fraudulent purposes. Application-based threats generally fit into one or more of the following categories:
- Vulnerable Applications
Threats Based on Web
For the reason, those mobile devices are continuously connected to the Internet and regularly used to access web services, web-based threats pose persistent issues for mobile devices.
- Phishing Scams
- Drive-By Downloads
Threats Based on Networks
Mobile devices usually support cellular networks as well as local wireless networks (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth). Both types of networks can host different classes of threats.
Stolen/lost Devices are one of the most common mobile threats. The mobile device is useful not only because the hardware can be re-sold on the black market, but the sensitive personal and organisational information it contain may be used for vario0us purposes.
What Scammers do?
A Scammer can access your confidential personally identifiable information (PII) and data, such as:
- Personal as well as professional data (emails, documents, contacts, calendar, call history, SMS, MMS).
- Passcodes and usernames (to emails, social networks, etc.)
- PII-recording mobile apps.
- Information regarding the smartphone user’s location.
- Personal photos
Smartphone Scams Examples
Vishing’ (voice) or ‘Smishing’ (text) Phone Scams
voice and text phone attacks have increased six-fold since the start of COVID. Someone may claim to be a police officer or a customs official calls or contacts you. They may claim that you have been a victim of fraud or that your account has a possible security concern. The objective is to make you feel anxious so that you don’t think clearly and don’t challenge their authority. The fraudster will next inquire you your personal or financial information to ‘resolve the issue.’
The ‘Hang-Up’ Phone Scam
The fraudster tells you that you need to transfer money or provide bank information, then asks you to contact your bank to verify that the call is legitimate. While you contact your bank, they pretend to hang up. You contact your bank’s number and talk with a representative who seems quite professional and assures you that the first caller is legitimate.
Amazon Prime Renewal Scam
An automated call pretending to be from Amazon Prime, informing you that your subscription would be ‘renewed’ at £39.99. To connect, you will be instructed to ‘click 1’.
Recently fake text (SMS) messages have hit users of DHL services, and they primarily involve the same risks as fake emails. Their authors only use the DHL name in their letter to grab the user’s attention and lend apparent legitimacy to the emails.
Android System Scam
Hornbill and SunBird are two new Android spying apps uncovered by the Lookout threat intelligence team. Confucius, a state-sponsored, pro-India actor primarily targeting Pakistani and other South Asian targets, employs these tools. Confucius originally debuted in 2013 as a state-sponsored, pro-India actor primarily pursuing Pakistani and other South Asian targets.
SunBird and Hornbill have been wrapped as security services such as the fictitious “Google Security Framework.”
Apps that are tailored to an area or activity (“Kashmir News”) (“Falconry Connect” and “Mania Soccer”)
Applications concerning Islam (“Quran Majeed”).
Many applications appear to target Muslim individuals.
Smartphone Security is Based on Three-fold Elements
- Data Protection
- Device protection
- App-Management Security
How to Avoid Scams and Improve Smartphone Security? Tips
- Encrypt mobile devices.
- Regularly update mobile devices’ applications and operating systems.
- Set strong passwords
- Avoid using a password you’ve used for another account (a Yahoo! or Google email account, for example).
- Use trusted and authentic source to install an app such as google play store, Apple Store, Kindle etc. As these Trusted App store have some policies behind the app.
- Don’t install Apps via any reference or click on any link.
- Use a VPN on open Wi-Fi networks
- Backup your data to the cloud
- Use a security app
- Enable remote wiping of your phone.
- Install Anti-Virus Software
- Be wary of text messages
- Check your browser for the lock symbol