Are you under attack on the move?

James Baird
By James Baird
In the final instalment of our series of ransomware blog posts, we look at security risks for mobile users.
Are you under attack on the move?

Traditionally, mobile device users have breathed a sigh of relief when talk turns to cyber security threats, believing that they are safe from attack. But all of that changed earlier this year when an attack reported as possibly “the biggest Trojan ever” was identified and widely reported – and Android users were the only target.

At its height, the so called ‘Hummer’ Trojan family was infecting 1.4million mobile devices every day. And a recent study reported worrying upward trends in mobile ransomware, with the UK third on the list of countries that have experienced the highest number of mobile ransomware attacks in line with overall malware incidents.

As well as the cost of someone gaining admin control of your mobile and installing unwanted apps, games and malware; there is also the financial cost. That isn’t just the potential ransomware demand, either. There’s also unauthorised network access to take into account. Reports say that the Hummer Trojan accessed the network more than 10,000 times in a few hours, using 2GB of data.

The truth is that NOTHING that is connected to a network is 100% secure any more. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to secure your mobile device. Here’s what Mohammed Shah, our third line technical support manager, advises:

Only download legitimate apps – you should only ever download apps from the official app store for your mobile device. Genuine marketplaces are scanned for apps containing malware or viruses, and are usually a safe bet. Downloading apps from external websites is to be avoided as they could contain harmful malware, which could open the door of your device to fraudsters. If in doubt, avoid!

Keep your device updated – it’s really important to install the latest software updates to your mobile device; they contain important enhancements and bug fixes which help keep your device secure, reducing the risk of a malware infection.

Consider antivirus apps – recognised anti-virus companies all now have mobile apps too. These can be downloaded from your app store and provide extra protection when browsing the internet and downloading apps.

Choose a robust password – always make sure you set a password to access your mobile device. This is the first line of defence and will help keep your phone secure if left in a public place. Having a strong password on your phone also means less opportunity for malicious hacks. Read more about what makes the perfect password here.

Backup your phone on a regular basis – you should try and get into the habit of doing this monthly at the very least. That way, if your device ever did get compromised, you can wipe the device to its factory settings, clearing all traces of the malware without losing your data.

If you’re worried about mobile device security, we can help. Contact us for more information.

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