Why are our smartphones vulnerable?
Malware actually started out as pranks or experiments, like the first Internet Worm, but nowadays it’s used to steal private, financial or business information. But whatever the case, its purpose is to damage or slow down our systems. And various factors may contribute for our systems to be vulnerable to malware, like weak or defected security, over-privileged users and over-privileged code which allows all users to modify and access the system, or homogeneity of the operating system. Some OS may be vulnerable than another, but it’s up to us to secure our software with firewalls and updated OS.
Here’s a list of vulnerable smartphones of 2013:
According to 25 Years of Vulnerabilities’ study of security company SourceFire, Apple’s iPhone is at 81% vulnerability, followed by Android smartphones (9%), Windows-based phones (6%), and BlackBerry (4%).
According to the study, 210 vulnerabilities were found in Apple’s smartphone. But they actually made significant improvements after the first release of iPhone in which they didn’t focus much on security the report further adds. And Apple makes continuous progress in making its iOS platform more secure for the users, but hackers gets the better of them. One speculation why iPhone tops the most vulnerable phone is because of its popularity. And even though Android devices have the best mobile phone OS market share, consumers still chose iPhone. This is the reason why cyber criminals would prefer to target the iPhone, since they’ll have more users to target with. Cybercriminals find less reason to look for vulnerabilities to penetrate smartphones with Android devices according to Yves Younan, senior research engineer at SourceFires Vulnerabilities Research Team and author of the report, and adds Android open flatform already easily opens up for third party and malicious apps to be easily created for users to download. Furthermore, iPhone jailbreaks and hacks are common now where they can easily access your phone claiming to jailbreak your new iPhone or iPad.
BlackBerry tops the most secured smartphone in the market with only 11 known vulnerabilities. Android has 24 and Windows has 14.
What the study concludes is that vulnerabilities is inevitable, Younan noted. Moving forward, enterprises must look at how to deal with them, and mitigate having cyber attackers exploit the vulnerability, by installing mitigation on operating systems or using security products, he said. “[Enterprises] should also plan for potential compromises including how they will rebuild and ensure the integrity of the data,” Younan added.
Keep safe and be wary when downloading apps, our phones are not safe, and our most private or financial information is at stake.
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