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TechEye – Smartphone security threats to double this year

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With a number of high profile security breaches recently the landscape of threat is one that is increasing and constantly evolving according to analysts, as Sony customers and their bank managers will certainly agree.

TechEye spoke to Magnus Kalkuhl, Director of European division of Kaspersky Lab’s global Research & Analysis Team here in Prague about some of the dangers facing everyone from large organisations to smartphone users.

And while hacking of datacentres is not something new, both the Sony case and, on a governmental level, Stuxnet and Stars have both shown recent lapses of security that are on a scale that has not previously been seen.

Furthermore with the increase in constant internet connectivity as well as new devices such as smartphones and tablets offering new areas for malware to attack, protecting people on many different levels from such threats is a constant struggle.

According to Kalkuhl one of the main threats evolving is one that has followed the explosion of smartphone uptake with Android highlighted as a prime target for malware.

“There was lots of talk about mobile viruses maybe years ago but with journalist writing about it excessively but then there but as not much has happenedso it was decided it was big hype,” says Kalkuhl, “however now things are changing.”

“In the old days when mobile viruses came out where they were able to dial premium numbers and this type of stuff, this is how they could earn money, but now with internet availability 24/7 on a mobile it becomes attractive for bad guys who want to make it part of a botnet as it is essentially a small computer.”

And this is the area where Kalkuhl believes we will see biggest increase in the coming years, with the problem being that not many people have protection, and have no idea that their mobile phones have been infected.

But while Kaspersky Lab  expects that the mobile threat will double during 2011, Kalkuhl admits that the problem is “not mainstream”.

“For example a computer antivirus is already installed, but for smartphones this is not the case.”

“Even if we are not speaking about rootkits and the like, there are of course threats on the internet that don’t need to have software installed on your machine, for example walls on Facebook, and it is all happening in your browser.”

“This can happen on your computer on an Android phone or on an iPhone or a tablet.”

Tablets are of course another area of concern for security firms with Kalkuhl noting that currently “there is no protection on tablets, possibly the browser has a defence such as with Firefox, but this is not as efficient as commercial anti-virus or security software.”

Read more: TechEye


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