Android Becoming a Prime Target for Hackers

Sue Marquette Poremba

In December, Kara Reeder reported that malware targeting mobile devices surged in 2010. All platforms were hit during that time; however, the article stated that the Android platform saw the biggest increase in exploits-up 400 percent from 2009 to 2010.

 

Now, in part, that could be a matter of a usage increase. Android devices jumped in popularity and use over the past year, and hackers tend to exploit what people are using. However, the Android platform may make things a little easier for hackers thanks to its open source concept. In its Security Forecast, F-Secure found:

In 2010, we saw Android apps that posed as games while spying on users, apps posed as banking apps with no official connection to the banks, and apps that attempted to steal users banking credentials. In 2011, the assault on Android phones by individuals with an excellent understanding of mobile applications and social engineering will only get worse.

For example, an Android Trojan was developed to capture credit card details. It was developed by security researchers to wait for phone calls where the caller is giving out credit card information. According to THINQ.co.uk:

The software works for both spoken numbers, as requested by some voice-activated IVR systems and by human operators, and numbers typed into the virtual dialpad on the phone-recognising the DTMF tones and translating them back into numbers again.


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