Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

10/28/2016
02:00 PM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

5 Signs Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked

Mobile devices are increasingly popular vectors for cybercriminals targeting the enterprise. How to tell when a smartphone may be under attack.
Previous
1 of 6
Next

It's easier than ever to use smartphones as go-to devices for accessing sensitive data and critical apps. Unfortunately, it's also easier for cybercriminals to take advantage of them. 

"We're starting to see public indications that mobile devices are an amazing vector to attack," says Yair Amit, CTO and cofounder of mobile defense company Skycure. "More and more attacks target data on these devices: email, chat, credentials to other services." 

Amit explains how smartphones are helpful for productivity but double as "ideal tracking devices" for bad guys as people rely more heavily on them. 

"If I compromise your devices, I can steal data and credentials, but I can also monitor where you go, whom you meet with, why you meet with them, and what you say," he continues. 

Mike Murray, VP of security research and response for Lookout, emphasizes the shift in cyberattacks to mobile devices among enterprise users -- ironically, because of security measures already in place. 

"Until now, general attacks in the enterprise were on computers," he explains. "Because of the rise in two-factor authentication, and because of two-factor authentication via phone, the phone has become part of the cyber kill chain." 

If a hacker wants privileges within an organization, or their VPN, at some point he or she will have to compromise an employee's phone. 

The severity of business risk varies from victim to victim, Murray says. If an entry-level human resources employee says their phone is acting strange, it may spark less concern than if the same complaint came from a high-level exec who was recently on a major assignment overseas. 

"The risk profile is less about behavior than about why the behavior is likely," Murray explains. 

Black Hat Europe 2016 is coming to London's Business Design Centre November 1 through 4. Click for information on the briefing schedule and to register.

Businesses face several challenges when it comes to strengthening their mobile security. Employees bring several types of devices, powered by multiple carriers, and running many versions of different mobile operating systems. 

Unlike PCs, corporate mobile phones often double as personal devices. BYOD policies complicate security because employees are the owners, says Amit. Many times, businesses will implement safeguards that fail because employees simply don't like them. 

Murray also acknowledges a mindset problem. Many people don't yet realize the huge problem mobile security presents to the business. 

"We think of the phone as an extension of the Motorola flip phone, not realizing it's the most powerful digital access device that we have," he says. If more organizations would recognize the need to take mobile threats seriously, it would change the enterprise security posture. 

Here are some key red flags that could indicate a smartphone has been hacked.

 

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 of 6
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
rjbarbal
100%
0%
rjbarbal,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/4/2016 | 12:51:02 PM
What to do next
Giving the signs of a hacked smartphone is useful for recognition, but including advice on what to do next to recover would be even better.  So, what to do next?  Here are some ideas on what to do if you suspect that your phone or other mobile device is infected:
  • install and run mobile anti-malware software (preferably from more than one vendor)
  • remove any apps that you don't recognize
  • consider wiping the device, restoring factory settings, and reinstalling apps from trusted appstores
  • use mobile security software on your device going forward
  • consider showing the device to a professional, especially if you think it might have been rooted
  • seek the cause of the infection, if possible, and take training on preventing future incidents
  • work with your incident response team to determine the extent of any breach of confidential data and how to respond
  • be more careful in the future

 
prostarjackets
0%
100%
prostarjackets,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/3/2016 | 3:49:06 AM
hi
The creative writing has inspired me a lot. I hope to see the same effort in the future too.

 
newamericanjackets at the walking dead jacket

I read the whole article by the author and I must say it is very nice. Thank for your sharing.
JamesF695
50%
50%
JamesF695,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/30/2016 | 2:22:07 PM
Thanks!
This was useful and informative
Commentary
How SolarWinds Busted Up Our Assumptions About Code Signing
Dr. Jethro Beekman, Technical Director,  3/3/2021
News
'ObliqueRAT' Now Hides Behind Images on Compromised Websites
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  3/2/2021
News
Attackers Turn Struggling Software Projects Into Trojan Horses
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/26/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: George has not accepted that the technology age has come to an end.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2009-20001
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in MantisBT before 2.24.5. It associates a unique cookie string with each user. This string is not reset upon logout (i.e., the user session is still considered valid and active), allowing an attacker who somehow gained access to a user's cookie to login as them.
CVE-2020-28466
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
This affects all versions of package github.com/nats-io/nats-server/server. Untrusted accounts are able to crash the server using configs that represent a service export/import cycles. Disclaimer from the maintainers: Running a NATS service which is exposed to untrusted users presents a heightened r...
CVE-2021-27364
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. drivers/scsi/scsi_transport_iscsi.c is adversely affected by the ability of an unprivileged user to craft Netlink messages.
CVE-2021-27365
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. Certain iSCSI data structures do not have appropriate length constraints or checks, and can exceed the PAGE_SIZE value. An unprivileged user can send a Netlink message that is associated with iSCSI, and has a length up to the maximum length...
CVE-2021-27363
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. A kernel pointer leak can be used to determine the address of the iscsi_transport structure. When an iSCSI transport is registered with the iSCSI subsystem, the transport's handle is available to unprivileged users via the sysfs file system...