Reasons why cyber criminals are eager to hack your smartphone

When we speak about cyber security[1], the computer is the first thing that comes to mind. Sadly, while computers are easier to hack, mobile devices become more and more attractive to cyber frauds who look for easy money. Smartphones play an essential role in our daily lives – that is for sure. It is not surprising why nowadays cybercriminals target these devices – sometimes even more aggressively than they target home or business computers. It goes without saying that Android users are primary targets[2] at the moment, but no one knows what time hackers will decide to turn to iOS users or others. According to security companies[3], smartphones carry a lot of sensitive information that makes cybercriminals turn their heads at them. Therefore, we decided to provide our readers with a list of reasons that explain why you should start thinking about ways to protect your smartphone or act at least a bit more responsibly when using it.

Reasons why hackers target smartphones

1. Smartphone carries a lot of valuable information about you

Just think about it – how many pictures, messages, videos, numbers, and other important data your mobile phone stores? Now imagine what can a cyber criminal can do with such amount of private information[4]. We are afraid that blackmailing and threats are just a drop in the ocean of things that scammers can do.

2. You are not the only one who loves that Autofill feature

It is hard to enter same passwords over and over again every day, right? We all love that Autofill feature that helps us to save time and log into our email, or social media account faster. Sadly, in case your device gets hacked, cybercriminals will definitely take advantage of this feature as well, and it will be more than easy to access these accounts without even having to use any hacking skills.

3. Your phone can work as your wallet

Nowadays, the idea of replacing our wallets with smartphones is very popular, and we see how companies are actualizing this idea. Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay are actively promoting mobile payments, and more and more users start using their phones for payment making.

4. Mobile phone knows your location at all times

Smart devices often ask us to enable location services, but in most cases, user’s location is required simply to improve user’s experience when using certain apps. However, if your device gets hacked by a cybercriminal, information about your location can be used for numerous illegal purposes.

5. Your device can be used as a spam tool

Scammers always look for innovative ways to send spam – and it seems that they see smartphones as an ideal platform for implementation of their plans. For example, your Android smartphone might start sending spam texts, emails, or making unsolicited phone calls if it gets infected with a certain version of Android malware.

6. Smartphones can be hacked via built-in features, such as Bluetooth

While Bluetooth is an excellent technology that helps you to connect your phone to other smart devices, it is also one of those technologies that cyber crooks constantly try to use to their advantage. There are three known Bluetooth-based attacks that help attackers send spam, access victim’s private information or even take control of the device – Bluejacking, Bluesnarfing, and Bluebugging. However, Bluetooth is certainly not one of the most vulnerable technologies, and if compared with other hacking technologies, Bluetooth might be the last entry point that hackers would choose.

7. Users are not aware of cyber attacks aimed at smartphones

Almost everyone knows that computer viruses are dangerous and that computers need to be protected with anti-malware or antivirus programs at all times. For some reason, users do not treat their smartphones the same way. It surprises us because depending on a user, the smartphone can contain even more valuable data than a computer does. Our experience shows that Android malware spreads rapidly and sometimes we receive more complaints regarding mobile viruses than computer viruses. In most cases, victims do not even know what to do in case of virus attack – when it comes to computers, people know that special programs can help. Speaking of mobile viruses, users rarely know what to do in order to get rid of them and make the device safe-to-use again.

8. It’s hard to remove mobile malware

Over time, mobile malware rapidly evolved, and now we see more and more sophisticated and professionally developed malware variants available today. Some of the mobile viruses(HummingWhale or HummingBad trojans[5]) were even uploaded to Google Play store in the form of legitimate-looking applications, which were available to download for a while. A worrisome fact is that such viruses, just like computer viruses, manage to slip into the system silently and stay there without showing any signs of existence.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

Linas Kiguolis is one of News Editors and also the Social Media Manager of 2spyware project. He is an Applied Computer Science professional whose expertise in cyber security is a valuable addition to the team.

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