Hackers to target mobile devices

Cyber-criminals will look to exploit new technologies to launch the same old threats, such as phishing, spam and identity theft, according to security firm McAfee.

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By  Administrator Published  April 19, 2007

Cyber-criminals will look to exploit new technologies to launch the same old threats, such as phishing, spam and identity theft, according to security firm McAfee.

In its latest Global Threat Report, issued this month, the vendor said the types of crimes were not likely to change much in the next few years, but the delivery mechanisms would, as criminals target devices such as smartphones and PDAs.

"Cyber-thieves follow the money," the report noted. Highlighting InSat Research figures that show the global smartphone market set to exceed US$250billion by 2011, McAfee said: "This is too large an opportunity for criminals to ignore."

McAfee warned that as users stored more and more personal and financial data on their phones, criminals would target them with phishing attacks, spyware and identity theft. Mobile spam also had the potential to explode as authors increasingly target mobile devices, it added.

The vendor also highlighted voice over internet protocol (VoIP) as another messaging medium ripe for spam.

"The constant struggle between security personnel and malware authors is an arms race - no matter how quickly security professionals design new safeguards, the bad guys seem to make similar advances," said Patrick Hayati, regional director at McAfee Middle East.

The threat report is a semi-annual publication, targeted at IT personnel and security executives.

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