Risk
11/29/2010
10:08 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
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
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-6306
Published: 2014-08-22
Unspecified vulnerability on IBM Power 7 Systems 740 before 740.70 01Ax740_121, 760 before 760.40 Ax760_078, and 770 before 770.30 01Ax770_062 allows local users to gain Service Processor privileges via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-0232
Published: 2014-08-22
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in framework/common/webcommon/includes/messages.ftl in Apache OFBiz 11.04.01 before 11.04.05 and 12.04.01 before 12.04.04 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, which are not properly handled in a (1)...

CVE-2014-3525
Published: 2014-08-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Apache Traffic Server 4.2.1.1 and 5.x before 5.0.1 has unknown impact and attack vectors, possibly related to health checks.

CVE-2014-3563
Published: 2014-08-22
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in Salt (aka SaltStack) before 2014.1.10 allow local users to have an unspecified impact via vectors related to temporary file creation in (1) seed.py, (2) salt-ssh, or (3) salt-cloud.

CVE-2014-3587
Published: 2014-08-22
Integer overflow in the cdf_read_property_info function in cdf.c in file through 5.19, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.32 and 5.5.x before 5.5.16, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) via a crafted CDF file. NOTE: this vulnerability exists bec...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Three interviews on critical embedded systems and security, recorded at Black Hat 2014 in Las Vegas.