Smartphones likely target for criminals

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The rise in popularity of smartphones will most likely attract hackers, who will begin attacking mobile devices while looking to compromise bank account information and other sensitive data.

In 2008, more than 139 million smartphones  were sold globally, a drastic 13.9% increase since 2007, Gartner said in a recent report.  As the Apple iPhone and Research In Motion BlackBerry lead the way, Google Android-powered devices and other smartphones also have entered the market as of late.

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Future releases of lower cost Android phones — and the launch of the iPhone in China — will help lure even more criminals to the mobile sector.  The threat of a mobile data breach wasn’t as serious in the past, when phone owners used the device for just phone calls and text messages.
Hacker

Since the smartphone rise in popularity, security companies say they’ve noticed a higher number of trojans and other malicious software making their way to mobile platforms.  It seems most cases are targeted single attacks, and widespread mobile attacks haven’t taken place yet, but the threat is rising, analysts claim.

“When the market increases, there are generally more people going after it because there’s a bigger potential for gain,” nCircle security director Andrew Storms told CNN.  “What we haven’t seen is the massive anonymous attacking across all of the smartphone bases.”

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Phone manufacturers and wireless providers must now work together to prevent the possible onslaught of attacks against phone owners.   Furthermore, just 1 out of 4 people reportedly turn on preloaded smartphone security software. Half of mobile phone users surveyed believe that mobile browsing is just as safe as Internet browsing using a PC.

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