Mobile And Social Are The New Frontiers Of Cybercrime

    September 10, 2012
    Zach Walton
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Cybercrime is perhaps the most devastating, yet most preventable, form of crime. Victims can have their lives utterly destroyed by a hacker. Those same victims often share a part in the blame because it could have been easily prevented by using some common sense and utilizing online security tools that are freely available to all.

Unfortunately, many of the rules that help protect people from cybercrime go out the window as soon as we bring social or mobile into the picture. Both areas are still largely unexplored with hackers creating new malware all the time. It’s hard to keep up with the ever evolving social and mobile scene, and it shows in Norton’s statistics.

Norton recently published their annual Cybercrime Report and the results are a little terrifying. It shows that hackers are getting smarter with how they use social or mobile to their advantage. It’s sometimes hard to differentiate a scam versus a legitimate request when on a mobile phone.

Of course, our first problem lies in something very simple. The study found that two-thirds of adults use a mobile device to browse the Internet. The same number of adults don’t have mobile security software installed on their device. It’s especially problematic when 31 percent of respondents claim to have received a text message from a stranger that contained a link. A mobile anti-virus would normally be able to scan the link before you clicked on it to make sure it was safe.

It gets scarier when it comes to the more personal nature of social networks. Four out of 10 people have reported being a victim of cybercrime while using a social network. Out of that, one of out of six users found that somebody hacked into their profile and posted as them.

That last statistic is by far the most frightening as attacks can now come from people you normally trust. You may see that your friend is linking to something like, “You won’t believe what this man did to save his dog.” It sounds like a good story and you’re more than willing to install the Facebook to read just a single story. Before you know it, you’re infected with malware that came about through a simple social engineering Facebook hack.

Once again, it’s important to remember the number one rule when dealing with potential malware – use common sense. Never allow a Facebook application to install anything on your browser unless it’s from a trusted source. Such applications could still be malware in disguise regardless of who sent it. Your best friend could have had their profile taken over by a reprehensible Internet bandit.

Social Mobile Cybercrime

If anything, Norton’s study shows that we must always be vigilant. Norton is obviously wanting you to buy their anti-virus software, but most anti-viruses, even the free ones, do a pretty good job of keeping your PC secure. As for mobile and social attacks, use a mobile anti-virus app and stay vigilant.

  • Rodriguez

    The danger is mostly likely real, still i m not sure that a software will be enough. Plenty of trick are basically social engineering. There’s some guys (www.scanandtrust.com) using artificial intelligence against that, and i think it s a pretty smart move. Security is an issue, but Trust is the key.

  • Cody Belcher

    Please qualify your term “hacker,” not all hackers are created equal. the term hack is an innovative solution to a problem. There are many types of “hackers,” most of which are working in increase security on the systems common users use every day, or just expanding the knowledge in a hands on situation. Very few of these “hackers” are what we call blackhat, meaning they do what they do for malicious reason and personal gain. My job as a sysadmin requires me to do some whitehat hacking to insure that my systems are secure.

  • Agn├ęs

    Unfortunately, these type of scams tend to be very common.
    I’ve been a victim myself recently when I bought a bag on, what turn out to be a fake website from Poland!
    It’s uncredible how those fake email, websites or programs seem so real, you can barely see the trick.
    I would like to recommand a new website; scanandtrust, I found it while I was surfing on a forum speaking about cybercriminality.

    Long story short, you can report a scam or if you have doubt about your interlocutor or a website you can ask them to run an investigation.
    Take a look, it’s very constructive and I might contact them for my next purchase online.