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Thread: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

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    News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    But nearly 30 percent have considered anti-virus software.
    Read more.

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    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    This is one reason I do really like my iPhone. The risk is so tiny (if you don't jailbreak), and i'll never need anti virus for it. It's one of the huge plus points of apples app vetting system.

    Same can't be said for other smartphones though where it is scarily easy to distribute malicious applications. Part of the price of the freedom I guess.

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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    But you're only considering one vector there, Spud1, and that's malicious apps that get installed.

    What about bugs in the web browser or one of the libraries that can be exploited to allow remote code execution?

    The very fact that jailbreaking is possible means, surely, that malware could be written for it...

    Still, I see no need for antivirus on the iPhone. In fact I'd rather phones didn't go the way of PCs and never need virus scanners.
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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    Of course, but the point is that anti virus wouldn't/couldn't help here due to the very nature of those issues, and the way that the processes run in isolation (with a general lack of IPC) is another contributing factor.

    There is a tonne of malware out there for the iPhone as well, but users don't become vulnerable to 99.99% of it until they jailbreak. There was the PDF issue of course, but even that had very limited impact in reality.

    My point was really that as a platform, iOS is much less susceptible to the kind of issues raised in the article, due to the closed nature of the platform.

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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    The other point is, more and more people are using their phone's as they would a PC, downloading files, video, pdf's etc all which can have gaping holes in them.

    For now people maybe relatively safe as long as you know what you are doing but with the mass push to smartphones and phones doing more and more, its only a matter of time before people turn their attention to the phones and their systems to target. If you really think the phone is a safe platform in the future then I would think about protecting yourself. As with anything and as Steve has mentioned, if its made, it will normally be broken, iOS, Android, WP7, nothing is safe 100%, its only a matter of time.

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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    However, AVG Technologies and the Ponemon Institute revealed that while some users are completely clueless, 29 percent of smartphone owners surveyed have considered downloading free or paid-for anti-virus software to help protect their mobiles.
    Funny that should be "revealed" by a company that sells a "solution". AVG, (or at least the mobile division) would do better to try spending some of that promotional effort on their customer support.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    This is one reason I do really like my iPhone. The risk is so tiny (if you don't jailbreak), and i'll never need anti virus for it. It's one of the huge plus points of apples app vetting system. Same can't be said for other smartphones though where it is scarily easy to distribute malicious applications. Part of the price of the freedom I guess.
    iPhone is not "malware proof" - what about browser exploits for one, and I'd love to hear your bleating justification for that "scarily easy" crack. Not sure about WP7, but I know with Android you've actually got to explicitly switch non-GoogleMarketPlace sources on, and even when you do there's a "big scary warning" that what you're doing is probably not the best idea. Actually what the Android warning says is:
    Your phone and personal data are more vulnerable to attack by applications from unknown sources. You agree that you are solely responsible for any damage to your phone or loss of data that may result from using these applications.
    (Actually, anyone out there know what the WP7 policy on app installs etc are - I guess there's a WP App Store, so presumably it's the same deal as GMP?)

    Yes, I do have a virus scanner on my phone - but that's really there to scan attachments etc so I can be passably sure that I'm not passing anything nasty onto anyone I forward the docs to. Oh, and it causes me a lot less hassle than that steaming pile of ---- (insert your own choice of description here) that calls itself iTunes for Windows.

    I agree that the risk to iOS devices isn't that large at the moment, but that's no cause for complacency. Remember that they said SCADA systems were probably pretty secure - but that's not the same as "secure" - trust no-one! I didn't bother labouring the point that the "closed systems are more secure" mantra is exactly the same pile of fertilizer that we've been whipping Microsoft for years about - mainly because WP7 is also closed, as are one or two of the bits of Android (the Google apps specifically, although the OS is open source - and so theoretically open for independent code inspection for vulnerabilities)
    Last edited by crossy; 15-02-2011 at 03:38 PM.

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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    One more reason for my choice of phone, which as opposed to "smart" phones I can only describe as a really dumb phone. In fact, a complete and unrelenting moron of a phone phone. If it was much more dumb than it is, it wouldn't understand the on/off switch.

    Of course, the other reason is I neither need nor want smart phone capability, so a nice, cheap and simple phone serves me just fine.

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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    I have considered d/ling av software for my phone but I'm sceptical about what benefits it will actually bring me. It seems more likely that it'll slow it down and eat battery life without doing anything I appreciate. I don't use my phone for things like online banking, but (amongst other things) I do wonder how secure the data connection is.

    Anyone know what on the phone likely has access to the data passing through if using tethering via my phone?

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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    Quote Originally Posted by miniyazz View Post
    I have considered d/ling av software for my phone but I'm sceptical about what benefits it will actually bring me. It seems more likely that it'll slow it down and eat battery life without doing anything I appreciate. I don't use my phone for things like online banking, but (amongst other things) I do wonder how secure the data connection is.

    Anyone know what on the phone likely has access to the data passing through if using tethering via my phone?
    I would have thought that the data-in-transit due to tethering would have been pretty safe (at the moment), since I guess mobile malware is more targeted at getting you to make premium rate calls/texts etc or stealing your contact lists (for spam purposes). What worries me is if some devious digital pirate manages to generate some "good" ransomware - given the reliance that some people have on their phones this could be very lucrative.

    I'm running AVG's product on my Android phone - it was free so I figured that if it was crap/annoying then I could just remove it with no harm done. Second week I had it installed it tripped because a mail attachment I got contained a Win32 trojan. Okay, my phone's proof against this, but I'd still like that malware squashed. (I later double checked that this wasn't a false positive by carefully transferring the file to a Windows box and getting McAfee to scan it).

    Actually there's one good and bad aspect of Android (sorry for going off topic) - it's nice that it tells you what privileges (access to contacts, wifi access, etc) an app needs. Unfortunately I'd really like more control and monitoring - being able to get a report of what an app is doing, or being able to block certain aspects (like not allowing access to the contact list) if I think them undesirable.

    I'll be interested to see what WP7 does with this, and I realise that iOS doesn't have this capability - you're having to trust Apple to have sanitised the app.

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: News - Many smartphone users unaware of security threats says survey

    does no one remember that jailbreakme website?

    Simply browse to it and bang, the damage is done. Very quickly.

    Why would someone do this? A couple of reasons for profitability spring to mind, most smart phones have credit, so you could probably get a fair few quid by making all kinds of international premium rate number calls. The networks would wise up, but probably not immediately.

    The one that strikes me the most would be personal data, all those stored passwords could be handy (myface etc), harvesting credit card numbers and the like. How many people would be dumb enough to enter their credit card details if a srange program came up. How many more would do it if the strange program looked at their photos and found one or two choice videos/pics and threatened to upload them to their facebook feed, if they didn't pay them the money.....

    Ok whilst it would be a very small percentage of users who would fall for such a obvious con, how many people bought a phone with an antenna on the outside thats encased stupidly out of shatterable glass.
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