“Millennium Males” Targets for Malware, Cyberthieves

by Jordan Richardson on December 8, 2011

It certainly isn’t news that mobile devices are all over the place. Simply step into any public space, whether it’s the shopping centre or the movie theatre, and you can look forward to hordes of zombies with eyes affixed on their radiant screens of choice. It stands to reason, then, that cybercrimes and malware attacks on mobile devices would be on the rise.

“With the proliferation of mobile devices, that’s just where the next threat landscape is going,” Symantec Inc.’s Lynn Hargrove said.

Because more people are expected to have a mobile phone than a PC, we can expect more threats than ever in the coming years. And because young men between the ages of 18 and 31 use the Internet and access it everywhere, they are prime targets for malware and cyberattacks.

According to Hargove, this demographic, called “millennium males,” have to ensure more than ever that their mobile devices are secure.

Doug Cooke, director of sales engineering at McAfee Canada, says that Android devices are particularly vulnerable to malware – especially through third party downloads and marketplaces that aren’t scrutinized as closely.

“There’s much more likelihood for users in the Android world to use those third-party marketplaces and as a result they get these apps and start having troubles,” Cooke said. “As usual, the malware writers are looking for ways to make money.”

With mobile devices being used for all sorts of things, like payments, banking and even electronic medical data. The sheer bulk of personal information locked into an average mobile device is off the charts and attacks will be geared at exposing vulnerabilities and exploiting the data.

“People don’t understand that it’s an extension of their computing platform,” said Hargove.

Malware writers will keep targeting users with spam and new programs designed to crack smartphones and superphones wide open, so the race to keep ahead of the game is heating up. With more economic anxiety, hackers and cybercrooks will become more brazen and the attacks will become more sophisticated.

Using tools like shortened links on social networking sites and SMS text messages that bilk users into paying for unsolicited messages, malware writers are upping the ante throughout the holiday season and well into 2012.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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