Criminal syndicates are strategically adapting to the changing times. An estimated 25% of all mobile devices worldwide were reported by SkyCure to encounter security breaches each month. This can be attributed to the rapidly growing variety of mobile hacking tools. After all, most criminal syndicates know that increasing numbers of users around the world are continuing to spend more time in regularly using their mobile devices.
Most cyber criminals use these mobile hacking tools to distribute malware and adware items. SkyCure claims that these mobile security breaches mainly include penetrations of malicious applications and potentially unwanted programs. In the USA, Lookout announced that malware and adware infiltrations across widely used mobile devices are steadily growing to at least 75% reported cases per year since 2014.
Mobile Hacking Applications
Many of these mobile hacking tools are digital programs. Some are packaged as tools to extend device functionality or circumvent security protocols in paid software products. Others are secretly distributed along with tampered applications and content downloads.
These mobile hacking tools are developed to inject malicious programs and potentially unwanted applications into a user’s mobile device. These can steal private user inputs and confidential data from a compromised device, wireless or cellular network. Some can also allow operators of these hacking tools to take control of your device without your consent.
These programs covertly initialize upon OS startup. Some are designed to detect Internet connectivity on the compromised device before stealthily activating its main payload.
Most of these malware applications are designed to remain undetected by basic mobile device security protocols. These protocols include online security and Web privacy tools that are mostly implemented by device manufacturers, OS and app development companies into their products.
Once a malicious program secretly logs information from the user’s mobile device, these stolen details are covertly transmitted to cloaked Web networks. These servers are operated by these criminal groups. Many of these criminals deploy more sophisticated social hacking operations through these malicious programs to steal your personal information, financial details, and confidential data.
Mobile Hacking Devices
Other criminal syndicates develop or repurpose certain mobile hardware tools. They implement functions into these mobile devices for injecting malware payload into a compromised device. This is usually designed for stealthily gaining access or penetrating secure wireless networks, cellular transmissions, and standalone mobile devices.
Some of these devices are wireless sniffing tools. These can be used by a hacker to go around an area so as to pick up signals from wireless or cellular networks and standalone devices with weak security protocols. These are designed to stealthily inject malware items that can secretly log user inputs and listen to messaging communications in the networks and devices of unsuspecting users.
These details are stolen and transmitted to preconfigured Web servers, or to the mobile hacking tool itself. These are then used to facilitate the other illegal activities of these criminal syndicates.
Some local criminals have also been reported to use cellular and wireless signal jammers with mobility features for conducting armed robberies in homes and commercial places. These mobile hacking tools can control the wireless and cellular signals of devices within an area, thereby blocking outbound and inbound calls, messaging and Internet connectivity.
How to Prevent Mobile Hacker Attacks
You must be aware of these threats. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. So, here are some of the most prevalent types of these malware applications, potentially unwanted programs and mobile hardware hacking devices that are used by these criminal syndicates to victimize mobile users globally:
Top Mobile Threats This 2016
1. Mobile Adware Pop-Ups – These unwanted programs continue to plague many users of iOS devices in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. A lot of iOS users in Germany, France, and Japan are also victimized each month by these adware pop-ups.
Scammers use these mobile adware pop-ups for their ransomware and fake tech support campaigns, which are billion dollar industries as reported by several system security groups. These pop-ups scare iOS users into thinking that their devices are under hacker attacks or have been infected by non-existent malware.
Users are then forced by these adware pop-ups to call a toll free number for removing the fake threats. When users call, they’re sometimes deceived into thinking that they’re talking to legitimate agents of Apple or popular iOS app development companies.
Of course, these scammers charge exorbitant fees just to remove these adware pop-ups. They disguise this as a service fee for their tech support expertise, tricking users into thinking that they’re getting premium support services from verified agents of Apple or other popular third-party iOS app development groups.
Many of these hackers con users into giving away their credit card details, personal information, and other financial data. These are then mostly used for the fake identity packages that are sold on the Dark Web to other criminals. Most of these buyers use these packages for illegitimate activities, such as for money laundering operations and for purchasing prohibited items like illegal porn, firearms, drugs, etc.
2. Mobile Spyware Programs – Many criminal syndicates reverse engineer legitimate mobile applications with functions for monitoring user activity in a mobile device. They implement self-serving functions into these legitimate programs. Some valid mobile applications that are tampered by these criminal syndicates include child monitoring tools with parental controls, security camera apps and employee tracking programs for private organizations.
These mobile spyware applications are designed by these criminal syndicates with functions for listening into calls, controlling cameras, logging messaging communications and stealing stored data from the user’s mobile device. These stolen details are then transmitted to cloaked Web server networks that are operated by these hackers. They use these stolen details for other illegal activities.
Ethical Hacking Training – Resources (InfoSec)
3. Wireless Sniffers & Signal Jammers – Many criminal syndicates, reverse-engineer legitimate mobile signal boosters from credible hardware manufacturers. They then integrate functions into these tampered devices, thereby successfully converting them to wireless sniffers and signal jammers with mobility features.
Most of these mobile hacking devices are capable of penetrating wireless or cellular networks and standalone devices with improperly configured network options. Many hackers are also able to access networks and standalone devices with zero to minimal security appliances and programs. Others deploy social hacking tactics, such as calling unsuspecting users, sending SMS and IMs (instant messages) to open or weaken security protocols before using these tools to hack into the user’s device or network.
Now that you know the top mobile threats this 2016, you can better prepare your mobile devices and home or office networks against these malicious applications and hacking devices. You should also prepare yourself against possible social hacking tactics. Here are some things to remember:
1. You should properly configure your built-in network security and Web privacy options. Deploy network security appliances like a firewall for your router and offline storage devices for your confidential data. Install and properly configure system security applications. Do this even for your mobile device. Keep in mind that the most vulnerable security links as recently reported by the CyberEdge Group are mobile devices. This means hackers are out to exploit this vulnerability so as to be able to hack into your wireless or cellular network and standalone devices.
2. You should also properly configure the security settings and content sharing options of your online social media accounts. The CyberEdge Group also stated in their recent report that the second weakest security links today are social media accounts. Remember, most of your social media account details are stored in the social apps of your mobile device, making it easier for cyber criminals to access your device, personal details, confidential data and home or office networks without your consent.
3. Don’t fall for social hacking tactics. Never click links in emails, SMS, and IMs from unknown sources. Practice due diligence when opening and activating downloaded content from the Web. These can be disguised as legitimate downloads. Be wary of calls and social media requests from strangers. Also keep in mind to carefully review the URLs of links and the email addresses of familiar senders before clicking those links or replying to those emails. Many hackers deploy phishing scams to steal your private data, financial information and other personally identifiable details. They use domains and email addresses that can be mistaken by many as the legitimate domains and email addresses of their service providers, companies, family, friends, and colleagues.
By following these techniques, you can fortify the security of your mobile device and home or office networks against these mobile hacking tools and malicious applications. So, share these tips with your mobile contacts, and help them avoid becoming one of those poor victims whose records are now part of the 1,023,108,267 reported compromised records globally since 2014 in the Breach Level Index.