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Smartphones’ popularity and relatively lax security have made them attractive targets for attackers.
Smartphones, or mobile phones with advanced capabilities like those of personal computers (PCs), are appearing in more people’s pockets, purses and briefcases. Smartphones’ popularity and relatively lax security have made them attractive targets for attackers. According to a report published early last year, smartphones recently outsold PCs for the first time, and attackers have been exploiting this expanding market by using old techniques along with new ones. One example is this last year’s Valentine’s Day attack, in which attackers distributed a mobile picture-sharing application that secretly sent premium-rate text messages from the user’s mobile phone. One study found that, from 2009 to 2010, the number of new vulnerabilities in mobile operating systems jumped 42 percent. The number and sophistication of attacks on mobile phones is increasing, and countermeasures are slow to catch up.
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