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Smartphone Cybercrooks Poking Mobile Apps for Weaknesses

searching for weaknesses on an iphoneApple's criticized policy of banning certain content from its App Store may not be so debatable or controversial anymore. Like sharks executing exploratory test bites on possible prey, scammers and cybercriminals progressively seek mobile weaknesses by performing attacks on smartphones and wireless gadgets.

According to the Wall Street Journal, probes of Air Force mobile devices exponentially increased during the last year, skyrocketing from approximately 12 attacks per month to more than 500. To avoid providing criminals with exploitable vulnerabilities, the flying corps consequently forbid the downloading of any apps on service-issued BlackBerry devices.

While it doesn't receive the scrutiny of Apple, Research In Motion does enlist analysts who evaluate entries to the BlackBerry App World. Google, however, employs no such preemptive investigators for the Android Market, and the company was recently forced to eliminate numerous errant banking apps that could have been used for financially devastating purposes. With apps existing for boundless endeavors -- particularly susceptible services like e-mail, social networking, banking and shopping -- cyber-criminals possess numerous mobile hacking targets that could provide personal information.

Gordon Snow of the FBI's Cyber Division told the Journal that, "Mobile phones are a huge source of vulnerability," a revelation not unfamiliar to Sara Dellabella of Wisconsin. Her son reportedly downloaded a seemingly innocuous game for her Motorola Droid from the Android Market, and the malevolent app subsequently -- and heart-wrenchingly -- erased the device's text messages and notes.

Last summer, when Verizon served as the only company to provide mobile protection, some folks attempted to diminish the need for smartphone concern. Well, those halcyon days are finished. So, to avoid the fate of Dellabella, or to prevent an exorbitant mobile bill for deviant calls to the South Pole, investigate various security apps for your own device, like the diverse and free Lookout software for BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile devices. [From: The Wall Street Journal]

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