Monday, August 2, 2010

Smart Phones becoming big targets reports that Smartphones were a big topic at the Blackhat computer security conference last week. There are a number of factors that push this trend:

1. Smartphone users tend to have their phones with them.

2. They tend to trust their phones with large and ever increasing amounts of personal and financial information.

3. They are downloading huge numbers of apps without giving much thought to security.

There have been a couple of incidents recently that underscore the importance of security on your Smartphone. Just last Friday I blogged briefly about the wallpaper apps from China that harvested information from the phones it was installed on. Redorbit tells of another case:

"A hacker from Russia cracked into a legitimate game, planted a virus and then offered the infected app for free at a copycat website ... The software app was modified to make the smartphone call eight telephone numbers that charged premium rates and then channeled most of the charges back to the hacker. The calls added a total of $12 to a smartphone owner’s monthly bill. The software was programmed to repeat the calls once per billing cycle."

Smartphones are great tools and the apps you can get for them are amazing, but even a simple cell phone is a small computer. Some Smartphones are actually very powerful computers that we still treat like the simple phones we had 10 years ago. That's going to have to change.