Cyber crooks targeting smartphones: McAfee

Feb 08, 2011
Smartphones have become prime targets for hackers and spammers, computer security firm McAfee said in a report released Tuesday.

Smartphones have become prime targets for hackers and spammers, computer security firm McAfee said in a report released Tuesday.

The number of pieces of , referred to as "malware," surged 46 percent last year as compared with 2009, according to a McAfee Threats Report for the final three months of 2010.

" are keeping tabs on what's popular, and what will have the biggest impact from the smallest effort," said McAfee Labs senior vice president Vincent Weafer.

"We've seen a significant shift in various regions, showing that cybercriminals are tapped in to trends worldwide," he continued. "McAfee Labs also sees the direct correlation between device popularity and cybercriminal activity, a trend we expect to surge in 2011."

McAfee has seen software threats to mobile devices steadily increase in recent years as the popularity of smartphones and tablet computers has climbed.

"Threats to mobile platforms are not new," McAfee said in the report. "However, as more consumers use and tablets in their daily lives and at work, cybercriminals have taken note."

Geinimi malware slipped into legitimate games and other applications for Android-based mobile phones was listed by McAfee as "one of the most important threats of the quarter."

As greater varieties of smartphones, tablets, televisions, and computers link to the Internet, hackers are likely to resort to "poisoning" Internet search results with links to websites booby-trapped with malware, according to McAfee.

"Web-based threats will continue to grow in size and sophistication," McAfee said.

Hacker tactics include luring people to bogus websites and then tricking them into downloading malware or revealing valuable information.

Adobe software products such as Flash and Acrobat were the "clear choice of authors and cybercriminals" when it came to compromising computers or networks, according to ,

In good news, spam in the final quarter of 2010 hit is lowest level in three years, the report indicated.

Explore further: Facebook's Internet.org expands in Zambia

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Spam down but 'zombie' armies growing: McAfee

May 07, 2009

Hackers appear to be beefing up armies of "zombie" computers to recover from a major hit scored in the battle against spam email, according to software security firm McAfee.

Facebook teams with McAfee to tighten security

Jan 13, 2010

Facebook has announced an alliance with Internet security specialty firm McAfee to get user of the world's leading online social network to better protect their computers.

Recommended for you

Researchers jailbreak iOS 7.1.2

47 minutes ago

Security researchers at the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) have discovered a way to jailbreak current generation Apple iOS devices (e.g., iPhones and iPads) running the latest iOS software.

Smartphones as a health tool for older adults

1 hour ago

A team of researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is creating a smartphone app that will help older adults to understand ...

Can you trust that app?

1 hour ago

You're on your smartphone, browsing through Facebook. In a fit of productivity, you search for, say, a project management app to help you use your non-Instagram and cat video time more effectively. You download ...

Facebook's Internet.org expands in Zambia

Jul 31, 2014

(AP)—Facebook's Internet.org project is taking another step toward its goal of bringing the Internet to people who are not yet online with an app launching Thursday in Zambia.

Body by smartphone

Jul 30, 2014

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

User comments : 0