Smartphones face creeping malware threat

A SophosLabs security researcher has warned that hackers are likely to step up their malware offensive against various smartphone platforms. ?

According to Graham Cluley, future attacks could exploit vulnerabilities in browsers used by mobile devices or take advantage of social engineering “tricks.”

“It should be remembered that not all attacks are OS-dependent. Phishing attacks don’t care what operating system you are running – they just rely on you using a browser and not taking enough care about the link you are clicking on,” explained Cluley.

??”And increasingly we are seeing examples of threats which only exist ‘within the browser’ or spreading entirely inside a social network, never touching your smartphone’s operating system.”

He added that hackers may move to target specific mobile operating systems, including Google’s open source Android platform.   

“Do I think we’ll see more malware for specific mobile operating systems in future? Yes, it would be a fool who would argue against the possibility.”

However, Cluley emphasized that the current generation of cellphone worms were a “tiny drop in the ocean” compared to the “staggering amounts” of Windows-based malware.

“Since the late 1990s some doom-mongers in the computer security industry have been predicting a tidal wave of mobile phone viruses, impacting every hoody-wearing happy-slappy ringtone-downloading ASBO-carrying teenager in the land. [But] I think it will be a long time before it competes with ‘traditional’ Windows malware as the main battleground for cybercrime.”

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