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Mobile phones new turf for hackers: Symantec

delhi Updated: Jun 20, 2010 13:51 IST

PTI
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Imagine someone recording your conversation while you discuss confidential company information or money being withdrawn from your account through mobile phones without your consent. That's the new world of mobile phone hacking.

After computers, mobile phones are now being targeted by spammers and hackers to gain confidential information and make money by duping the public.

According to data security solutions provider Symantec, many people use their mobile devices to store information such as their passport numbers and other high-value data, which drastically increases the 'haul' for a cyber criminal who successfully attacks the device.

"To date, around 400 threats on mobiles have been identified. While this may appear minuscule as compared to the four million threats for computers, the dangers to users are very real," Symantec India Managing Director Vishal Dhupar told PTI.

Some of the common mobile threats include Smishing, Pranking For Profit, Snoopware, Bluejacking and Bluesnarfing.

Smishing, for example, is when SMS and MMS are used for spamming and phishing activity.

The attacker sends a SMS onto a phone which comes with a link, clicking on which causes a trojan to be installed on the mobile phone.

Pranking for profit refers to attacks intended to steal money from infected smartphones. The infected handset sends premium SMS messages to a website that withdraws money from a bank or credit account before the user or network realises.

"With monthly addition of more than 15 million users every month, it is but obvious that mobile devices, including phones, are fast becoming the favourite target for mobile hackers in India, much like in the rest of the world," Dhupar said.

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