This holiday season is mobile. That’s the reason why so many people should get ready to be victims of cyber-attacks on their smartphones this time of the year. A report published on Forbes, alerts that the new technologies provides new ways to spread malware. “Cyber-criminals are actively trying to leverage mobile devices as part of their attacks,” warned John Pironti of the IT professional association ISACA, to Forbes. “The holiday season provides them a perfect time to test out new attacks.”
On the US Black Friday 2011, in November, PayPal reported a 516% increase in mobile payments. Smartphones and tablets have established themselves as a medium for e-commerce. The day after Thanksgiving was really good for enterprises. Usablenet tracked 18 million page views and 1 million mobile users, which means a 60% increase in traffic in comparison with last year.
As expected, all this traffic creates good opportunities for the hackers to make their moves. CloudFlare, a company that provides security services, did a survey that reveals that cyber attacks seems to grow around May Day, Mother’s Day, Halloween, and Veteran’s Day. The other way around, there is a decline of attacks during China National Day and August 1. “We can’t say that the holidays themselves are the cause of increases or decreases in attacks,” said Matthew Prince, CloudFlare cofounder and CEO. “It is interesting, however, that China National Day saw a big decrease in attacks since the majority of attacks we see originate from China.”
Yesterday (14), Google removed 22 applications from Android Market found to contain fraudulent software. The Internet giant has been struggling to keep the mobile system away from malicious attacks. This time, the apps removed were infected with “RuFraud”. Once the user installed the app, the malware was able to use the phone to send premium SMS. Popular apps such as AngryBirds were infected.
The criticism around the security of Android system has been growing since there are many specific viruses being created for the platform. Some claim that the problem is its open structure: app developers can upload their creations to the Android Marketplace for just $25, and they can remain anonymous. It’s opposite to the highly monitored Apple Store. For example, Apple requires "code signatures" from all of its developers, which confirm the apps were created from a reliable source.
The open source code from Google’s system gives the users a greater variety of apps to choose from. But they have to figure better ways to guarantee its safety, once the mobile devices carry bank and cards data from its holders and now hold an important position in e-commerce traffic.
(Image Credit: CloudFlare)