Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cybercrime enters Mobile, Social Markets

Symantic has released the findings of a 2012 report on cybercrime that shows significant increases in "malicious activity" in mobile and social networks.  The report suggests that cybercrime costs consumers more than $110 billion globally ($21 billion in the U.S.) and affects roughly 1.5 million consumers daily.
Mobile vulnerabilities have doubled from 2010 to 2011, which can make consumers leery of clicking on mobile ads. Symantec notes that 31% of mobile users have received a text message from someone they didn't know requesting they click on an embedded link or dial an unknown number to retrieve voice mail. Some 44% don't know security platforms exist, and two-thirds of adults have lost their device or had it stolen.
In social, four out of 10 users have fallen victim to cybercrime, one in six users report that someone hacked into their profile, and one in 10 social users have been affected by a scam or fake link on a social network platform.
The study is based on responses from more than 13,000 online adults in 24 countries.  Two thirds of this group reported that they had been victims of cybercrime, and 31% said they had received a text message from someone they didn't know with an embedded link or unknown phone number (to get a voicemail message).
  The report suggests that a major access point for mobile cybercrime is the use of free and unsecured WiFi, particularly to access emails.  WiFi signals are easily intercepted, and many free and public WiFi access points don't use encryption between users and the WiFi node.  This can give hackers and criminals access to your keystrokes (which may include account log-ins and passwords) if the users aren't going through a secure site. Two-thirds of respondents reported regularly using free public or unsecured WiFi. Among those using unsecured WiFi for access, 67% report accessing personal emails63% reported accessing social media accounts, 31% reported shopping online, and 24$ access their bank accounts.
  Symantic suggests making sure that you use secure transmissions and sites when providing personal information - including account names and numbers, log-in IDs, and passwords.  They also indicate that having strong passwords can be a strong deterrent.  While it's tough to prevent a determined hacker, the harder you make it (strong passwords, secure systems, etc.), the less chance they'll bother with you.

Sources -  Mobile Social Registers Rise in CybercrimeOnlineMediaDaily
Slides for 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report

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