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Going Mobile: How Cybercriminals Target Smartphones

With billions of active mobile devices connecting the world, it’s no surprise that cybercriminals have shifted a large portion of their focus to this attack vector. Let’s look at a few common ways they use the mobile market to spread malware, steal data, and launch other cyberattacks.

  • Smishing
    • Here's a new word for your vocabulary! "Smishing" is a combination of "phishing" and "SMS" text messaging. A common example is a text message that claims your bank account has been compromised. It instructs you to immediately click the included link and update your username and password.
    • Avoid it! Never click on links in random text messages, especially if they include threatening language.
  • USB Charging Cables
    • Did you know that common USB charging cables can be used to distribute malware? This means that attackers can leave malicious cables in public areas. If someone plugs that cable into their phone, the attacker can then install malware on the victim's device.
    • Avoid it! Only use the charging cables that you own. Avoid public charging stations.
  • Malicious Applications
    • Popular app stores are notoriously targeted with malicious applications that steal data and spread malware. Even though the large app stores have strenuous procedures in place to stop criminals, they still manage to slip through.
    • Avoid it! Do a little bit of research and ensure that the apps you intend to install are trustworthy.
  • DDoS Attacks
    • Short for distributed denial-of-service, DDoS attacks use malware-infected smart devices (security cameras, smart appliances, etc.) to flood internet servers with more traffic than they can handle. This causes the server to crash, which can knock services offline for hundreds of thousands of people.
    • Avoid it! Protect every smart device with a strong, unique password.

Remember: Smartphones allow us to access almost anything from anywhere. That invaluable convenience also exposes us to a long list of security concerns. Be sure to give your smart devices the same security care that you would a traditional computer.

We invite you to visit the Education Center at for even more tips on keeping fraudsters out of your life.

Source: KnowBe4

Personal Banking, Security