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
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
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
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5427
Published: 2015-03-29
Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integration Engine (NIE) 5xxx-x, and NxE8500, allows remote attackers to read pa...

CVE-2014-5428
Published: 2015-03-29
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in unspecified web services in Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integratio...

CVE-2014-9205
Published: 2015-03-29
Stack-based buffer overflow in the PmBase64Decode function in an unspecified demonstration application in MICROSYS PROMOTIC stable before 8.2.19 and PROMOTIC development before 8.3.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by providing a large amount of data.

CVE-2015-0528
Published: 2015-03-29
The RPC daemon in EMC Isilon OneFS 6.5.x and 7.0.x before 7.0.2.13, 7.1.0 before 7.1.0.6, 7.1.1 before 7.1.1.2, and 7.2.0 before 7.2.0.1 allows local users to gain privileges by leveraging an ability to modify system files.

CVE-2015-0996
Published: 2015-03-29
Schneider Electric InduSoft Web Studio before 7.1.3.4 SP3 Patch 4 and InTouch Machine Edition 2014 before 7.1.3.4 SP3 Patch 4 rely on a hardcoded cleartext password to control read access to Project files and Project Configuration files, which makes it easier for local users to obtain sensitive info...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.