One can argue that for any adult right now, the smartphone is highly likely the most personal piece of technology he or she owns. Indeed, there are a lot of reasons supporting this idea -- after all, we carry our smartphones just about everywhere we go, and our handsets basically carry all sorts of very personal information, including passwords, bank and credit card information, contact information of family, friends, and colleagues, and loads of potentially sensitive pictures. It is no surprise then that hackers now are looking to hack our mobile devices more than our personal computers.
According to a research team from Kaspersky Lab, a Russia based company that specializes in developing and selling cybersecurity solutions, 2017 saw at least 1.2 million users who own mobile devices powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system encounter malware that were disguised as pornographic content. The firm estimates that 4.9 million people had suffered from malware attacks last year, which meant that around a quarter of that volume got malware disguised as porn.
According to security firm Check Point, a certain malware called Googlian has apparently already affected over a million Google accounts, and the number of infected accounts is growing by the day. Basically, what this piece of malicious software does is steal the authentication tokens used by handsets and then use them to gain unauthorized access to private and sensitive information stored on Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, G Suite, and Google Drive, among many other programs. As explained by Check Point via a blog post, Googlian is infecting users at a rate of 13,000 mobile devices each day.
A band of researchers have discovered a new strain of Android malware that is nearly impossible to remove from mobile devices. Furthermore, it has the capability of rendering smartphones vulnerable to harmful root exploits. What is worse is that the Android malware has the ability to mask itself as one of the many mobile apps supplied from Facebook, Twitter, and even Okta, a two factor authentication service.
Palo Alto Networks, a California-based network security company, has discovered a new family of malware called WireLurker that could threaten 800 million Apple devices today. According to Palo Alto Networks, WireLurker is the first of its kind that can easily infect iOS apps the way a regular computer virus could. The company added that WireLurker is only the second malware family known that can affect iOS devices via OS X, the operating system used in every one of Apple's Mac computers. What WireLurker does is monitor any iOS-run device that is connected through USB with an infected OS X computer. It then downloads third-party apps into the iOS device. As stated in Palo Alto's 30-page report, the malware can steal all sorts of data from any device it infects, and even asks for updates from the attacker's server, which means it is always in development.
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