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Mobile Threat Vector

  • Mobile Threat Vector-

    One source in private industry that requested anonymity worries that mobile phones will be a new on-ramp to planting malware on more secure devices. “Let’s say you’ve secured a process control system within a nuclear facility and there’s no direct connection between that system and the corporate network,” he said. “Even with such security measures in place, someone who just needs to charge his phone can introduce malware as soon as it’s plugged into a computer within that location.”

    While USB flash drives have long been recognized for their ability to spread malware, mobile phones are becoming a new vector that could introduce attacks on otherwise-protected systems. “A phone is also a storage device,” notes the industry insider. “I can see a sophisticated attacker writing code to exploit wireless connectivity technology that subsequently plants malware on a mobile phone. Now that phone is programmed to install a dangerous payload as soon as it connects to a targeted system.”

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Mobile Threat Vector

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  • Mobile Threat Vector-5

    One source in private industry that requested anonymity worries that mobile phones will be a new on-ramp to planting malware on more secure devices. “Let’s say you’ve secured a process control system within a nuclear facility and there’s no direct connection between that system and the corporate network,” he said. “Even with such security measures in place, someone who just needs to charge his phone can introduce malware as soon as it’s plugged into a computer within that location.”

    While USB flash drives have long been recognized for their ability to spread malware, mobile phones are becoming a new vector that could introduce attacks on otherwise-protected systems. “A phone is also a storage device,” notes the industry insider. “I can see a sophisticated attacker writing code to exploit wireless connectivity technology that subsequently plants malware on a mobile phone. Now that phone is programmed to install a dangerous payload as soon as it connects to a targeted system.”

In the past year, we have witnessed cyber attacks of unprecedented sophistication and reach. These attacks demonstrate that malicious actors have the ability to com­promise and control millions of computers that belong to governments, private enterprises and ordinary citizens. If we are going to prevent motivated adversaries from attack­ing our systems, stealing our data and harming our critical infrastructure, the broader community of security research­ers — including academia, the private sector and govern­ment — must work together to understand emerging threats and to develop proactive security solutions to safeguard the Internet and physical infrastructure that relies on it.

This slideshow features emerging cyber threats for 2012, identified by the Georgia Tech Information Security Center and the Georgia Tech Research

Institute.

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