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An odd form of identity theft is emerging, taking the form of a prank.

According to PCMag, the threat of downloading mobile apps from legitimate sources can carry Trojans. When downloading seemingly innocent mobile apps that have malicious components, the risk lies in using text messages after the fact. The cited source, which is the anti-malware software Malwarebytes, already reported on the risks that are related to downloading and installing mobile apps on less-than-trustworthy sources.

Not all fun and games

The typical scenario when using a mobile device is the leisure aspect and the appreciation of getting instant emails and messages. But because mobile devices have sophisticated connections, such as what happens when accessing Google Play, mobile devices are just as vulnerable as computers to malicious software. Because mobile device security is still a new concept, mobile devices are even more vulnerable to hackers exploiting security flaws.

But downloading mobile apps isn’t the only way to put your mobile device at risk. It is possible to receive sketchy text messages that try to scam phone users into giving sensitive information. Even the simple act of opening questionable emails puts your mobile device at risk, according to the publication CSO.

In the same article, it is listed that using newfangled currency such as bitcoins can create problems on mobile devices. So the mobile device is no longer a complete diversion that is used in order to whittle away time, unlike a Gameboy, but is instead a complicated piece of technology that requires as much responsibility and know-how as a computer. Updating software on your mobile device is still a wise move, but installing some software that protects against malware will protect users from falling into traps. In the same PCMag article, suggested software to install were Bitdefender Mobile Security and Avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus, which, as the names indicate, are supposed to be help with mobile device protection. Reviews indicate that installing anti-malware software is a step in the right direction.

The risks when a mobile device is infected

When infected with a worm or some other nasty piece of malicious software, the piece of technology that you regularly use becomes clay in remote users’ hands. It’s not only computers that have this problem. If you see that you have mobile apps installed on your device that have nothing to do with your actions and aren’t part of the default settings, then it is very likely that your mobile device has been infected. Once a piece of technology is infected, it can be very hard to remove the problem (or problems). Even though anti-malware software tools exist for mobile devices, being entirely dependent on that software isn’t always the best strategy. On Windows, the System Restore tool helps when the computer is infected and the anti-malware software is rendered helpless. Despite reassurances of a patch that can solve Mac issues, web development users have to be concerned about computer safety when using Terminal because of the Shellshock vulnerability.

The issues related to technological safety are becoming increasingly complex. Even though Shellshock received a lot of attention, the Tech Times reported another vulnerability on Mac computers. Reports of mobile device vulnerabilities already existed before this recent news from PCMag. In an earlier article from PCMag’s, Krysanec was the malware to worry about last August.

According to the same PCMag article from Monday, October 6, 2014, some users install spying software so that they can get information about another person. Using that type of software produces knowledge that is dangerous to handle, especially if it can be manipulated and then disseminated to larger groups of users.

The question that remains, however, is why vulnerabilities are becoming increasingly exploited. Either it means that increased vigilance is resulting in the detection of a lot more vulnerabilities, or hackers are finding new ways to make their victims’ lives more difficult.

 

 

 

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