Mobile Threats FAQs

Mobile Threats FAQs 


Mobile Security Glossary

Latest Mobile Threats
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airborne malware

cross platform malware

Bluejacking is a hacking method that allows an individual to send anonymous messages to Bluetooth-enabled devices within a certain radius. First, the hacker scans his surroundings with a Bluetooth-enabled device, searching for other devices. The hacker then sends an unsolicited message to the detected devices. Bluejacking is also known as bluehacking. Bluejacking exploits a basic Bluetooth feature that allows devices to send messages to contacts within range. Bluejacking does not involve device hijacking, despite what the name implies. The bluejacker may send only unsolicited messages. Hijacking does not actually occur because the attacker never has control of the victim’s device. At worst, bluejacking is an annoyance.
Bluesnarfing and bluebugging, however, are actual attacks that may result in a user losing control of his device. Although bluejacking, bluesnarfing and bluebugging use Bluetooth as the point of entry, bluesnarfing and bluebugging are far more harmful. Bluejacking can be prevented by setting a device to hidden, invisible or non-discoverable mode.

Bluesnarfing Bluesnarfing is a device hack performed when a wireless, Bluetooth-enabled device is in discoverable mode. Bluesnarfing allows hackers to remotely access Bluetooth device data, such as the user’s calendar, contact list, emails and text messages. This attack is perpetrated without the victim’s knowledge. Bluetooth-enabled devices are vulnerable to bluesnarfing attacks when in discoverable mode because hackers can respond to queries from other Bluetooth-enabled devices, thus gaining unauthorized access to information. Most mobile phone discovery modes are activated by default. Unless the mode is deactivated, a device is susceptible to bluesnarfing attacks. The only way to fully protect a wireless device against bluesnarfing is to turn off Bluetooth. Keeping the phone in “invisible” mode provides some protection.

Bluebugging Bluebugging is a technique that allows skilled hackers to access mobile commands on Bluetooth-enabled devices that are in discoverable mode. Bluebugging is similar to phone eavesdropping, or bugging. Because discoverable mode is a default setting, most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and devices are automatically vulnerable to bluebugging attacks. Certain tools – such as RedFang and BlueSniff – allow hackers to infiltrate Bluetooth-enabled devices that are not in discoverable mode.
Bluebugged devices are vulnerable to one or more of the following scenarios:
•A device can be remotely controlled, which allows hackers to intercept or reroute communication.
•Hackers may send and read text messages.
•Hackers may place or monitor phone calls.
•Hackers may do all of the above without leaving a trace.

Cellular Phone Hacking Cellular phone hacking is a questionable practice whereby a third party gains access to an individual’s cellular phone through a variety of methods. The legality of cell phone hacking is heavily dependent on who is doing the hacking. For example, law enforcement and national governments often use cell phone hacking methods to apprehend criminals and monitor dissidents. There have been many high profile instances of illegal cell phone hacking, particularly of celebrity phones. In 2007, a former journalist of the tabloid “News of the World” was charged with attempting to hack the phones of royal aides. In 2011, the same tabloid came under fire for hacking the voicemail of a 13 year old girl who was missing, possibly interfering with the investigation into what eventually proved to be her murder. This term is also known as cell phone hacking, cell phone spying, phone hacking, or phreaking. Simply put, cell phone hacking occurs when someone else gets into your phone. Depending on their motives, the hacker may simply view data stored on the phone, broadcast your location or send messages to your contacts under your name. However, more serious instances of cell phone hacking involve hackers: •Deleting data •Adding malicious programs •Gaining access to sensitive information like bank accounts •Transcribing private conversations •Storing copies of texts and emails Common ways that a hacker gains access to your cellular phone include: •Bluehacking – gaining access to your phone when it is a discoverable device on an unprotected Bluetooth network •Unnoticed access to an unlocked phone left unattended in a public space •Mimicry of a trusted network or cell phone tower •Phone cloning by copying the SIM card of the target phone •Malware apps that install malicious software or make changes to firmware •Phishing via mobile optimized sites •Fraudulent account resets using known information about the user (phone number, birth date, address and so on) With so many methods available and more sensitive data being stored on smartphones and mobile devices, cellular phone security has become a major concern.

SMS Phishing SMS phishing occurs when a cell phone receives a SMS (Instant Message or IM) from a fake person or entity. The unsuspecting cell phone user will respond to a fake SMS and visit a URL, inadvertently downloading malware and installing a Trojan without the user’s knowledge. Phishing is all about extracting useful information, so in the case of SMS phishing, the Trojan harvests the data areas of the cellphone and transmits them to the person who created the Trojan at the earliest opportunity. SMS phishing is also known as SMiShing. SMS phishing attempts occur when cell phone user is the recipient of a message acknowledging receipt of an unknown purchase. To terminate bogus purchases and avoid monthly or daily charges, consumers are directed to phishing websites. Unknowingly, customers go directly to the website, allowing hackers to access personal cell phone information. SMS phishing has become increasingly prevalent on social website networks, such as Facebook. SMS Phishing is a way of performing identity theft, as the inadvertently downloaded malware captures and transmits all of the stored cellphone data, including stored credit card details, names, addresses and other data, like password details for email accounts, which, when opened, increase the vulnerability of online banking and other accounts. The malware can then cover its tracks by wiping the phone clean, including all call records, causing repeated rebooting or similar odd behavior rendering the phone unusable. Thus, the original phishing attack is easily unnoticed by the user. Viruses and phishing scams are far reaching to all types of digital devices. Wise consumers should choose their products according to available product security software and data recovery technologies.


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