Have you been swiped?
A few years ago, you would have been surprised by the promise of web browsing becoming a virtually mobile pursuit. After all, the mobiles you were using were extremely primitive. Equally, today, are you concerned about the security of your smartphone?
You’re not. The figures prove it: if you’re anywhere near average, it just doesn’t come up on your radar.
And yet, criminals are always looking for the next ride that they can leverage from tech – it’s always been that way – and probably always will. Though you might use a pattern lock for your smartphone, did you know your swipes can be pirated?
Neal Hindocha, a security geek from Trustwave, has created new malware that works like a keylogger. ‘Screenlogging’ counts your finger swipes as well as captures screenshots, so your phone or tablet is open to a hacker – and so is your information.
Suddenly the secret world of PINs, account numbers, passwords, your mother’s birthday, your partner’s telephone number, and every other piece of information that you want to keep hidden from strangers, is as open as a box of chocolates to a child.
Through scanning your activity, a hacker can know what application you’re choosing to use, what you’re choosing to do with it, and where you’re choosing to send it. Essentially, every operation that you can do with your phone can be done by someone else.
That’s no position to be in, and is one that no one wants. The first casualty is the android phone – not unsurprising given the popularity of the device, but also IOS equipment is vulnerable, with new malware types appearing on an almost daily basis.
Suddenly, the secure, small smartphone that you’re using to hold all that secure information leaks faster than a colander with extra holes. In fact, it’s assumed that with the growing strength of tech malware, even despite the efforts of the teach companies themselves, smartphones are becoming the number one target for hackers, and within five years, according to the authorities, everything you own could be made public.
Imagine the picture: quick and easy, undetected access to internal systems, where a perp sees every key stroke you enter. With approximately 25% of the world’s population currently owning a smartphone, it won’t take long before ownership is a 100% – even 200% (as it is in the UAE).
To be fair, phone companies are not resting idly on their elbows – there area range of countermeasures being investigated, and research to stem this new trend are being plotted.
What can you do? Frankly, at the moment, this cyber-theft is still in its infancy, and while it’s something to be concerned about, unless you’re taking unnecessary risks, you’re not likely to come into contact with it.
The future, though, is less than promising, if no advancements are made in phone security to counteract such keylogging. With the technological revolution just starting to take off, you just have to hope that the poachers are less on their game than the gamekeepers!