Smartphones are now very prominent in our everyday life. Over 6 billion individuals worldwide have access to smartphones. They are not only used for communication anymore but also as work tools.
This new dawn in technology and smartphones comes with a new level of cyber-attacks. These attacks are fast-rising and are posing severe threats to data privacy.
Personal and work financial transactions, emails, photos, and messages attract cybercriminals. This makes our smartphones the new target.
This article will look at some security threats to be aware of in 2022 for a safe and smooth online experience.
1. Re-CAPTCHA Verifications
This is not a major security threat, but it’s still a pain. It might be a defending tool, but you will agree that it can be an annoying task bypassing them.
As internet fraud and spam grow, newer versions of reCAPTCHA services surface. That can sometimes interrupt your browsing experience with constant verifications. However, for remote workers and other home internet users, using a residential proxy will guarantee a seamless browsing experience.
Residential proxies help to mask your IP address and prevent it from being stolen as well as help you browse safely. These proxies use a legitimate address from residential places, making your web requests look like they come from real residences. A viable residential proxy will allow access to CAPTCHA verification without the need to verify yourself again and again.
2. Mobile App Fraudulent Activities
Considering the low entry hurdles, swindling an app is quite simple. In the first half of 2021, a huge fraud operation drained millions of dollars from online bank accounts. Smartphones were also duped using a single simulator. Because these harmful tools are so common, we expect to see more this year.
To fight it, mobile applications must intensify anti-fraud measures and security. App users can resort to the following to prevent mobile app fraudulent activities:
- Enable two-factor and triple control authentication.
- Avoid public hotspots and WiFi.
- Use strong passwords with symbols.
- Use strong anti-malware.
3. AI Technology
We often hear about the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). They forecast customers’ requirements based on data and deliver customized results. However, when we discuss the darker side of AI, data privacy comes up.
Yet, there’s a new worrying trend in the real world: a rise in AI-powered security threats. The most dangerous aspect is the idea of AI threats. Imagine optimizing data to become intelligent and precise.
Attacks are more challenging to stop as they get stronger with each success and failure. When threats outstrip defenders’ skills and capabilities, attacks become more difficult to manage. Because of the nature of AI security, we must respond to the growing number of AI threats before it is too late.
4. Account Takeovers
There have been significant account takeovers and big data breaches over the past few years. So, obtaining user credentials is a simple task for attackers. Data breaches are becoming more common. Violations in 2021 were over 20% more than those in 2020. With this, it’s only fitting to prepare for account takeover attacks and efforts in the coming months.
Cybercriminals now use AI and algorithms to plan assaults. They imitate actual user login behavior and make hundreds of logins in seconds with bots.
Phishing is when an attacker hides as a trustworthy person to trick the victim to act on the phishing request. The action could be to open an email, instant chat, or text message. The receiver is then duped into clicking a malicious link. Doing that exposes the computer to malware and ransomware installations.
The system may freeze because of the ransomware assault. Otherwise, malware causes the disclosure of sensitive information. Improper transactions, money fraud, and data theft all fall under phishing.
Some phishing techniques used are:
Phishing Scams via Email
Phishing through email is a game of luck for hackers. Only a tiny number of receivers fall for the deception. Yet, the reward for sending many bogus messages is access to classified data. Sometimes, they get large quantities of cash by selling user data to other third parties.
Attackers will go to tremendous pains to create legit-looking phishing emails. The links in the emails also look valid. You can only unmask them if you see a misspelled domain name or more subdomains. The URLs often look like an original website URL, enough to make you feel secure.
Phishing With a Specific Intent
Rather than random targets, this form attacks a specific person or business. With an official-looking headline, the hacker impersonates an employee’s superior to get data.
For example, the perpetrator can act as the CEO and send emails to a project manager. The mail will include a link to an “official document.”. The document is usually a counterfeit of a hacked invoice.
6. Malicious Software Attacks
Mobile malware still hasn’t caught up to its PC counterpart in volume or complexity. Yet, IT security professionals recognize that malware can exploit smartphone or tablet flaws. Let’s take a look at some that are currently circulating:
Online Bank-app Malware
This virus steals mobile banking login credentials and transfers funds to fake users.
According to Dark Reading, in 2015, Trojans were the fastest-growing wild threat. Q1 of 2015 saw the discovery of over 1.6 million malicious installation packages. They design them to penetrate mobile devices and collect bank login credentials. The information is then forwarded to a command and control server.
Ransomware first gained popularity on PCs. The creators used them to attack encrypted vital user data such as papers, images, and videos. Then, the attacker demands a ransom. If not paid on time, all files get wiped or locked, rendering the data unreachable.
An IDC ransomware report said 37% of organizations have been victims of these attacks. Also, the FBI reported 2,084 ransomware complaints in the first half of 2021.
Spyware is a monitoring proxy installed as a program on your device. It watches your behavior and records your position. Worse, it steals sensitive data like passwords for email accounts and e-commerce sites.
Spyware mixes with other harmless apps and collects data in the background. Unfortunately, you might not realize spyware is present until your device’s performance deteriorates. Otherwise, you might need to run an anti-malware scanner on your tablet or phone.
Adware on mobile devices has come a long way since it was just annoying pop-ups and data harvesting. According to ZDNet, several adware creators have produced “malvertising” malware. Malverts infect and root your device, compelling it to download specific adware. Through it, attackers can steal personal details.
As technology evolves with different security features, cybercriminals also get stronger. Since the onset of the pandemic, the cases of cyber-attacks have gone up in different forms. These numbers will continue to go up soon if necessary care is not taken.