Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Kevin Benedict

Blog Feed Post

Your Mobile Device is About to Be Hacked

In the PC world, hacking, viruses and cybercrime started out fairly slowly, with pranks and viruses meant to causes a nuisance. Along the way, hackers learned how to use technology to steal real money and never be caught. Organized crime and hacker syndicates are now commonplace, and are training tomorrow’s cyber thieves. Cybercrime has surpassed drug trafficking as the most lucrative illegal business.

The Mobile Market is Ripe for Hackers
As we begin 2013, the number of mobile connected devices now exceeds the world population. Not only is it a much larger market, but one that contains a customer base that includes seniors and preteens, the favorite targets of savvy hackers. Mobile hacking is on the rise, but it has come close to hitting its stride. The number of mobile malware cases targeting Google’s Android platform went from 30,000 to 175,000 from the 2nd to 3rd quarters of 2012, according to recent report from Trend Micro.

The PC industry and its growth have spawned a new generation of tech savvy users… and the largest numbers of hackers ever to exist. Moving to mobile devices is the logical next step. As Billy the Kid famously answered when he was asked why he robbed banks: “That’s where the money is.”

Paris HiltonHacking mobile devices is certainly not new and good hackers don’t discriminate against any platforms or operating systems. There have already been well publicized hacks of celebrity cell phones as early as 2005. A teen famously hacked into Paris Hilton’s mobile device and revealed contacts and photos online. The same skills that might make good pranks or be the envy of friends are used for far more sinister and profitable attacks. The same teen was involved in the attack on the LexisNexis Group, exposing the personal information of more than 300,000 consumers.

The Mobile Device Makers Dirty Little Secret
Mobile manufacturers are making it easy for hackers to see everything you do. Because of the small form factor of these devices, manufacturers use a form fill feature that uses your keystrokes to determine what word you are typing. Its intentions are good in that it makes it easier for you to text, but it gives hackers access to EVERYTHING you have ever typed since you booted the phone.

They have, in essence, embedded a keylogger on every device. All your keystrokes are stored in an unencrypted cache file. All a hacker needs to do is write malware that accesses that cache and provides that data to them. If anyone is attending the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco on February 25-March 1 in San Francisco, StrikeForce Technologies will be showing how this is done at Booth 539.

Hackers can also design malware that seeks out certain words or phrases asking just the keystrokes that follow. They look for bank names (to steal your login/password credentials), your company’s VPN URL (for a potential data breach), retail sites (to steal your credit card information), as well as college application and student loan companies (to gain access to your personal and financial information).

Mobile malware has already been used for some of the world largest data breaches. FinFisher, Loozfon and Dougalek, are examples of mobile malware that have already had their day in the sun. FinFisher is a piece of spyware that hijacks your Android phone so it can be controlled remotely. It has used web links and SMS system update texts to infiltrate your device. Loozfon will steal your number and your address book. Dougalek is an SMS Trojan that led to one of the largest data breaches in history (according to Kaspersky Labs, SMS Trojans account for more than half of all mobile malware). When these types of malware are on your system, problems will follow.

Some may tell you that Apple iOS is more secure, but that isn’t necessarily true. Apple devices only run one application at a time, which makes it impossible (at this point) to run anti-malware in the background. It is true that the majority of hacks currently occur on Android devices, but that’s mainly because that’s where the larger number of users reside. In July 2012, malware was found for the first time in the IOS (Apple) App store.

HackersThe most common ways mobile malware infects your mobile devices is through app stores, phishing attacks/adware, SMS Trojans or root access malware. Google Play (Android App Store) and Apple App Store each have anti-virus programs that seek out infected files, but just as in the PC world, they are only effective against known malware. That still leaves the door wide open for zero day attacks, and any newly written malware (thousands are written every day). Malware can also be hidden inside popular applications.

There’s a Good Chance You’re Already Infected

Some reports indicate that 50 percent of mobile devices already have unpatched vulnerabilities. If your device is infected, it can be used to perpetrate friends, family, coworkers or breach your company’s VPN. Many of these malware programs include keyloggers that track every keystroke you make on your mobile keypad. They steal your credentials, personal information, login/password for banks, social media, VPN and have that information sent to them in forms of email SMS or even phone calls. Some malicious programs will just trigger your device to continuously call or text 866 or 900 numbers.

How Can I Tell if I’m Infected?

  • Look for performance issues like slow responses or quirks you haven’t noticed before
  • Lock up. Ransomware will lock your device and ask for money (or to click a link) to unlock it. When unlocking the device they often install keyloggers hitting you yet again.
  • Watch your call history. Look for calls you don’t remember making

Mobile device hacking (and keylogging in particular) involves a wide range of crimes, including: identity theft, credit card fraud, data breaches and even physical theft (home robbery, abductions, and more). Imagine your teenage daughter is texting her friend, saying she is home alone, unaware that a keylogger is on her system. The criminal knows her address and that she is alone.

Even your photos are at risk. Actress Scarlett Johansson’s photos were stolen from her phone and posted online. Imagine what the result of a sexting incident posted online can do to someone’s reputation. A simple keylogger could ruin lives, cause terrible embarrassment, or get you fired from your job.

How 
Download some sort of anti-virus software. Anti-virus vendors that make solutions for mobile include the usual suspects like Symantec, McAfee, Kaspersky, Lookout, Sophos, and Trend Micro, among others. Most experts agree that they do little to prevent malware on mobile devices. The entire premise of anti-malware is flawed because it only protects from the “known.” It’s akin to arresting criminals and assuming that will end crime. Although they are only marginally effective, it’s better than nothing.

Anti-malware software should be paired with keystroke encryption. StrikeForce Technologies’ MobileTrust solution provides keystroke encryption that encrypts all of your keystrokes, making it impossible for hackers (even zero day attacks) to steal your information (all hackers will see are 1234567890123456789 etc.). It also includes a password vault that stores all passwords in an encrypted database, a strong password generator enables users to create and store hard-to-crack passwords, two-factor authentication and an encrypted database.

Additional Tips to Potentially Prevent Malware

  • Assume anything you type (or photograph you take) is visible to the world. Unless you have enabled keystroke encryption, don’t type anything you don’t want exposed.
  • Disable the features of the phone you don’t use (less for hackers to work with)
  • Check out application reviews and reliability before downloading
  • Be cautious of any deals that sound too good to be true (watch the home based business scams)
  • Be very careful about the types of geo-location apps you download
  • If you are suspicious about a message from a friend, do not open it. Verify its origin (contact your friend) before proceeding.
  • Don’t connect to unknown wireless networks

Remember, it’s up to YOU to protect yourself.

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...