Risk
11/29/2010
10:08 AM
50%
50%

FBI Warns Of Mobile Cyber Threats

Criminals will target holiday shoppers with SMS text and voice mail scams, or smishing and vishing, said the agency.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters

As if online phishing scams aren't enough to worry about, people also should be wary of criminal efforts targeting their cell phones, the FBI is warning.

The agency's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) said that creative criminals will be using scams called "smishing" or "vishing" to steal people's personal information, such as bank account numbers, personal identification number (PIN) codes, or credit card numbers.

Smishing is a combination of SMS texting and the common online practice of phishing, which uses e-mails to direct people to websites where they are asked to give up personal information.

In a smishing scam, people receive a text message on their phone telling them there's a problem with their bank account. The message will contain a phone number to call or a website to log into.

To pull off these crimes, people set up an automated dialing system to text or call mobile phone subscribers in a particular region or area code. They also steal phone numbers from banks and credit companies and target people on these lists, according to the FBI.

If a person follows through and follows directions, it's likely there's a criminal on the other end stealing personal information.

Vishing is similar to smishing except instead of an SMS, a person will receive a voicemail giving them the same information.

People who fall victim to mobile device scams could be in danger even if they stop short of giving up the information requested, the FBI warned. If they only log onto the fake website via their mobile device, they could end up downloading malicious software giving criminals access to anything on their phone, the agency said.

To protect themselves from these new types of scams, the FBI's IC3 is recommending that people refrain from responding to text messages or automated voice messages from unknown or blocked numbers.

With the proliferation of using the web on mobile phones, people also should treat their phones like they would their PCs, and avoid downloading any applications or files to a mobile device unless it comes from a trusted source, the agency said.

People also should be more cautious when making purchases on mobile devices and only use legitimate payment services and credit cards -- not bank accounts or debit cards -- to do so. The FBI recommends credit cards for all online purchases because people can work with a credit card company to refute any unauthorized charges on a bill, while this process is trickier when dealing with funds from a bank account.

As usual, people also should continue to protect themselves while surfing the web on their computers. The FBI, as it did last holiday season, recommended that people ignore unsolicited e-mails requesting personal information, and refrain from clicking on links or attachments contained within those e-mails.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
speedo1456
50%
50%
speedo1456,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/13/2014 | 9:23:35 PM
Who invented it
The FBI is warning the public for cyber threats. Well FBI.. who invented cyber hacking?
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-2086
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the live preview in the Panopoly Magic module before 7.x-1.17 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a pane title.

CVE-2015-2087
Published: 2015-02-26
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in the Avatar Uploader module before 6.x-1.3 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary PHP code by uploading a file with a PHP extension, then accessing it via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-2088
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in unspecified administration pages in the Term Queue module before 6.x-1.1 for Drupal allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unknown vectors.

CVE-2015-2089
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the CrossSlide jQuery (crossslide-jquery-plugin-for-wordpress) plugin 2.0.5 for WordPress allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) change plugin settings or conduct cross-site scripting (...

CVE-2015-2090
Published: 2015-02-26
SQL injection vulnerability in the ajax_survey function in settings.php in the WordPress Survey and Poll plugin 1.1.7 for Wordpress allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the survey_id parameter in an ajax_survey action to wp-admin/admin-ajax.php.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.