Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mobile security is key for the future of the Internet

“The Internet is a collective construction and its governance process must also be built that way,”said Virgilio Almeida, Brazil’s Secretary for Information Technology Policy at the NetMundial meeting in Brazil. It is a two days event where about 850 government officials, academics, technical experts, etc. are trying to find the most proper way to transfer the Internet governance from the U.S. hands  to an international body.

Undoubtedly the reasons behind this attempt to untie U.S. government from the control of the Internet are the U.S. surveillance programmes disclosed by Edward Snowden, which generated mistrust in the rest of the international community.
Nevertheless, there are many other online hazards that will keep threatening citizens, especially through their mobile devices. If we think for a second how we use our phones, what accounts we access from it and all the information we store in that little device, it is not surprising that cybercriminals target mobile phones. In fact, according to Kaspersky Lab, in 2013 a third of mobile attacks were intended to steal our money, 1 in 5 to get our private information and another one in 5 to make money at our expense.
The Android app called “Virus Shield” is a perfect example of fraud used to enrich cybercrooks at the expense of the user. That is app that slipped into Google Play with the promise of being an antivirus although it actually wasn’t functional at all. At least Google has returned the money to the users who fell for the scam and give them a coupon of 5 € for its app store.
It has been also detected a fake Facebook app for Android that allow cybercriminals to take over SMS, calls, record audio, etc, from the affected device. To encourage user to install such malicious app, they use the popular banking trojan called Win32/Qadars to show him warning messages in Windows.
Consequently the companies that create mobile operating systems have great responsibility when it comes to maintain their users as safe as possible. Therefore Apple had to release its IOS 7.1.1 version for iPhone and iPad, which fixes 19 vulnerabilities.
However, sometimes a mobile phone can represent a threat itself for a third device. For example, for an ARKON anesthesia system with version 2.0 Software. It seems that if a mobile is connected to its USB port – to charge it, for instance – the device may stop working. That is something very serious if we consider that it could endanger a patient’s life.
We will follow the NetMundial meeting to know what agreements they eventually reach about the future of the Internet. But one thing we can guarantee you, cybercrime will continue to represent a hazard, so never let your guard down.
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