Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Harry Trott, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Pat Romanski

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
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom 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. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media 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. 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.
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
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 expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.