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November 6, 2011

Smartphone owners cautioned against malware

Smartphone users not taking adequate measures to be safe from malware, according to report

By CBR Staff Writer

A UK-based computer security campaign has been launched in a bid to urge smartphone users to tighten their security when inadvertently downloading applications that may contain malware.

Get Safe Online, a joint initiative between the government, police and industry, said it was becoming concerned that users of smartphones, such as Android devices, were not taking adequate measures to secure their devices.

According to Get Safe Online, there has been a surge in smartphone malware, as the market for smatphones continues to proliferate.

Cyber criminals are said to be creating Trojan copies of reputable apps and enticing users to install them.

Once installed, the app on the phone can stealthily generate money for criminals through premium rate text messages. A typical scam involves use of an app designed to send texts to premium rate services without the knowledge of the user. Apps seem to be bonafide software or sometimes make their presence felt as free versions of well-known games.

Security software vendor Symantec recently issued warnings in its annual threat assessment that Android phones were at risk. It added that it had found at least six varieties of malicious software.

Minister for Cyber Security Francis Maude said: "More and more people are using their smartphone to transmit personal and financial information over the internet, whether it’s for online banking, shopping or social networking."

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