Mobile security has quickly skyrocketed to the conversation of the day between security experts as of recently, and with good reason. According to a survey conducted by Business Insider, 835 million smart phone users are active globally. Not to mention the fact that adults spend more media time on mobile than newspapers & magazines combined (eMarketer December 2011). One could understandably conceive the amount of personal information that users put into these devices, just out of reach of the clutches of thieves. It has been a mostly untapped Black Hat market until the smartphone’s actual evolution presented the environment needed to progress the ‘artform’ forward.
Presented at the International Malware Conference, MalCon, Indian Security Research expert Alex Atul wrote a paper explaining how he combated the issue of finding a Malware that could work universally on smartphones, regardless of their platform. The research makes use of a combination of a modified the voice dialing capabilities which are enabled by default on smartphones. Through this clever manipulation one can not only dial any number remotely on the target’s phone, one can also steal contacts from all devices, without installing Malware on the phone. Voice commands can be mimicked and effectively ‘hacked’ in this matter. Phone calls can even be recorded, all by plugging int he bugged headset into the audio jack.
Espionage is starting to catch up with the wild gadgets we’ve all come to know and love from our favorite spy movies. That isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Please, consider the information you make available by simply having it on your mobile devices. While it has quickly become society’s lifeline to the world, it is also a veritable playground in the wrong hands. Stay tuned to Secure the World for more details in the realm of IT security!