‘Smishing’ Attacks Are on the Rise

Text messaging is the most common non-voice use of a mobile phone. There are trillions of text messages received around the   world each day, and an increasing number of them are spam, or phishing attacks of some sort.

A report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project claims that 73 percent of adults with a mobile phone use text messaging–sending and receiving an average of 41.5 messages   per day. That average jumps to a startling 110 messages per day for individuals between 18 and 24.

Cyber criminals are good at identifying lucrative markets and targeting weak links. Users are conditioned to recognize suspicious messages and security threats on PCs, and there’s generally security software   in place to detect and prevent attacks. But, many people assume mobile phones are inherently safe, and don’t realize that   malware and phishing attacks are a concern for mobile devices as well.

People are used to receiving text messages, and are not likely to think twice about the security implications of clicking   on a link in a text. The major Web browsers have phishing protection built in to alert the user to suspicious sites, and users   can generally hover over a link to display the true URL on a PC, but mobile phones aren’t equipped to help users avoid malicious   text messages.

Tim ‘TK’ Keanini, CTO of nCircle, explains, “In some ways ‘smishing’ [the term used to describe SMS phishing] is a more promising tool for cyber criminals   than phishing (email) because at the moment users have fewer defensive technology tools.” (Read More)

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