Until recently, I always used to be worried about viruses and spywares attacking my computer system. Updating my antivirus and anti-spyware programs was the first task I used to do after connecting to the Internet. Today, with modern operating systems like Windows 7, I am least bothered about viruses and spywares. With Microsoft Security Essentials (free anti-virus for Windows), I need not pay extra for any anti-virus software. I don’t feel the need of installing any firewall like Zone Alarm. Windows in-built firewall does that all for me. So, what’s happening? Have all the virus coders resigned from their jobs and relocated to Himalayas or Microsoft OSes are being more secure or just the trend is changing?
Over the last couple of years, we have been witnessing a significant shift in the world of technology. The latest Smartphone and tablets are giving tough competition to our desktop PCs. The tablets are on the way to replace laptops/netbooks. The widespread adoption of smartphones and social networking is now driving the cybercrime shift as well.
As per Cisco’s 2010 Annual Security Report, Third-party mobile applications in particular are emerging as a serious threat vector. A report from Trend Micro also confirms the same. In the mobile landscape, the report said that smartphone and tablet platforms, especially Android, will suffer from more cybercriminal attacks.
Recently, a harmful piece of malware was detected on Android platform. Kaspersky Lab classified this malware as Trojan and named it as Trojan-SMS.Android.OS.Foncy. It is found embedded inside the phony version of SuiConFo which is a legitimate Android App. The Foncy Trojan sends four premium-rate text messages to numbers in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Canada, Germany, Spain and the U.K. These text messages are sent without the phone owner’s knowledge.
The official SuiConFo app is in the official Android Market and it is a paid app. By contrast, the pirated version has been found free of cost only on file-sharing websites. The paid version obtained from the Android market was absolutely non-malicious. The Trojan was found to be embedded only inside the pirated version, which was freely available.
Always remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You need to be more careful while downloading any app to your smartphone. Always ensure that the app is received from a trusted source. Don’t use the pirated version.
Social Networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have also emerged as an ideal target for cybercriminal attacks.
“Social networking to be the most vulnerable in 2012. In 2011 also most number of attacks was either on social networking websites or was through them, it clearly indicates that it is not going to be an easy year for the users of these websites,” according to anti-virus and security and threat management solutions providers Trend Micro.
The FTC suggests few tips for making you presence on Social Networking sites secure:
Moral of the story:
The technology is undoubtedly helping cybercriminals to make their scams work. But, at the same time we should not ignore the fact that most exploits hinge on misplaced human trust. Sex appeal, greed, vanity, trust, sloth, compassion and urgency are the 7 weaknesses that cyber criminals’ best exploit through social engineering scams. (Source: Cisco’s 2010 Annual Security report)
Enjoy the luxury of the advanced technology but with care!