Wednesday
July 23, 2014

Android Users Beware: Phones Vulnerable to Attacks

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Android Users Beware: Phones Vulnerable to Attacks

Mobile security experts recently said they’ve identified more than a dozen popular Android apps that can make your phone a target for hackers.

The threats range from hackers reading your incoming and outgoing messages, tracking your location, running up charges via SMS messages, and even monitoring your call history. 

“Some apps expose themselves to outside contact,” says Riley Hassell, the founder of Privateer Labs. “If these apps are vulnerable, then an attacker can remotely compromise that app and potentially the phone using something as simple as a text message.”

Hassell’s statements follow a report this March by antivirus company Kaspersky that also identified 70 types of Android malware, which ranged from viruses like “HippoSMS” (which causes phones to text premium numbers that increase charges) to “Golddream.A,” which can record phone calls and upload conversations to remote servers controlled by hackers. The viruses can be embedded into applications you can download from the Android Market. 

Hassell says that developers are failing to follow security guidelines close enough when writing apps, which is leaving phones vulnerable. 

A recent study found that 30 percent of Android users will encounter web-based threats on their device this year, according to mobile security firm Lookout. 

Source: “30 Percent of Smartphone Users Will Encounter Malware This Year,” TechSpot (Aug. 4, 2011) and “Android Vulnerable to New Hacks,” Forbes.com (Aug. 15, 2011)

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