Two Leading Hacking Vulnerabilities In Your Mobile Device

This is a guest post by Ryan Corey.

Mobile Device
Mobile devices including smartphones and tablets are convenient tools used to connect people to professional contacts, friends and family members. While this technology has made life easier for many people, weaknesses in mobile devices that leave these devices open to hacking can result in theft of personal, corporate, Government and classified information and lead to the burden of dealing with identity theft, public humiliation, reputation damage and even legal penalty and financial loss.

Downloading Applications

Apps are fun and useful additions to a mobile device, but users should take care when browsing the app store and starting a download. While most apps are perfectly safe, there is the possibility that an app will contain malware. Even if the app itself does not contain malware, ads that are featured when a user is using a free app could prompt a person to start a download of malicious material. Anyone who notices that a download has started on their mobile device after they have clicked on an ad should be sure to immediately stop the download and delete anything that has been downloaded on to their mobile device.

Preventing malware downloads in the first place requires a person to be diligent about what is downloaded on a personal mobile device. Free apps require a bit of research before a download is completed. Make note of the publisher, and run an online search to find out if anyone has reported that apps from this publisher contain malware. Read all of the information provided before the app is download. Permissions that are required prior to a download should be related to the features contained in the app. For example, there is no reason that a calculator app would need to access a user's contact list.

The final line of defense against malware downloaded from apps available on mobile devices is utilizing a virus scanner. As with any other download, make sure that the virus scanner itself is from a reputable source. Online reviews can help a person decide which virus scanner is most effective for their mobile device.

Wireless Man in the Middle Attacks

Setting your mobile device, and in most cases your phone, can be one of the main perks of upgrading your device to the latest model. 3G mobile hotspots became popular years ago and now everyone wants a device that can act as a hub for multiple devices to get online at almost any 4G location. These devices are also extremely vulnerable to what is referred to in the hacking community as Wireless Man in the Middle Attacks (MiTM). These attacks are easy to implement from a hacker perspective and can be the most personally damaging because they usually offer up the majority of a person’s personal information via their cell phone and other active mobile device like an iPad or Laptop. The MiTM attacker can easily mask themselves as an authorized user on the network and can give themselves full access to almost all information on your device including credit card numbers, access codes, data and even access to other networks related to you.

Wireless hacking is rampant. It is not just a tool for covert ops professionals overseas anymore. Thieves are using these types of attacks daily across the country.

Using the Android Operating System (OS)

Reports related to the number of malware attacks on mobile devices have shown that the Android OS is the most vulnerable to these attacks. According to McAfee, mobile devices with an Android OS accounted for approximately 70 percent of all malware attacks on mobile devices in 2011. The most common way for malware attacks to occur on these devices is through the download of an app.

The fact that the Android OS is most vulnerable to malware attacks does not necessarily mean that people should avoid all mobile devices using an Android OS. As detailed above, users of mobile devices can avoid malware by being proactive about the security of their devices.

Owning a mobile device is a convenient way to stay connected with your organization as well as your social world, but this connectivity does result in serious vulnerabilities. Want to learn more about mobile security and hacking? Check out the TrainACE Advanced Mobile Hacking Courses.

About the author:

This is a guest post by Ryan Corey or TrainACE, a computer training school in Maryland. TrainACE provides on campus, on-site, and online training for various IT security classes such as CEH, CHFI, Security+, and more.

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