Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, John Rauser, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

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
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...