According to Juniper Networks, malware aimed at mobile devices increased 185 percent between July 2011 and May 2012, from 14,000 malicious apps to 40,000.
That’s just one study cited by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report titled, “Better Implementation of Controls for Mobile Devices Should Be Encouraged,” released September 18. The report outlines common threats to mobile users’ data and device security and encourages both government and private industry to take a more active role in educating consumers and preventing malicious behavior.
While the report relies largely on existing studies and contains little revelatory information, it does compile facts into a convincing picture: mobile devices are targets for hackers. “These threats and attacks,” the report says, “are facilitated by vulnerabilities in the design and configuration of mobile devices, as well as the ways consumers use them.” In other words, some of the fault lies with device manufacturers and operating systems, but in some cases, the enemy is us.
The report makes a number of suggestions to consumers regarding how to avoid becoming a victim of malicious hacking of one kind or another:
The GAO report recommends that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “encourage the private sector to implement a broad, industry-defined baseline of mobile security safeguards.” The suggestions the GAO provide are a good start.
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
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