Securing Your Digital Life, Part 3: How Smartphones Are Making Us Vulnerable

Telephone scams, targeted phishing and...a pig butcher? The future is kinda scary.

According to some estimates, there are more smartphones on the planet than humans use. People who have never used a desktop computer use smartphones and other mobile devices every day, and a large part of their lives depend on them - perhaps more than they should.

As a result, cyber attackers have shifted their focus from sending emails to gullible computer users (who pretend to be Nigerian princes in need of banking assistance) to more easily targeting mobile users. Criminals use smartphone apps and text messages to deceive vulnerable people in domains - some with purely financial consequences, others putting victims in real physical danger.

I recently found ways to use a small shield. However, for our digital lives, a recent trend in internet scams has shown how easily smartphones and their apps can be turned against their users. These worst-case scenarios are worth considering to help others identify and avoid them - and we're not just talking about helping older users. These things affect everyone. Oh, Hody McHackerman is back, and now he's looking for your phones. Zoom / Oh, Hoody McHackerman is back, and he's looking Now about your phones PeopleImages/Getty Images have been exposed and targeted, they've contacted me personally. For some, interacting with mobile apps shattered their sense of privacy and security, and for others, the scams cost them thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars. Given this, it is useful to arm yourself and your family with a wealth of information and skepticism.

Targeted Phishing via SMS

The past two years have seen a significant increase. We've been texting. Phishing scams targeting personal data - especially credit card and website credit data. Phishing messages SMS messages, sometimes called "smishing", usually include some calls that encourage the recipient to click a link - a link that often leads to a webpage that seeks to steal usernames and passwords (or do something worse). This spam is not new, but it is becoming more and more targeted.

In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that US consumers lost $86 million as a result of scam messages, and the FCC has gone so far. Scam texting warning for COVID-19. Sure, you are smart and will not leave your personal information in a clear text message. But what if the text of your name came with enough accurate information to cause you the slightest concern? Like a text message your bank sent seemingly asking for your name and asking you to log into your Walmart credit card to confirm or protest the $500 fee? "However, scary people don't make hoods." src="" alt=" Securing Your Digital Life, Part 3: How Smartphones Make Us Vulnerable"> Zoom/mobile scams, it's all expansive, But it's usually him, though, that scary folks get into hoodies. If I don't read the message carefully or discover that it came from a fake phone number that is not connected to my bank or I don't remember that I have never agreed with my bank via SMS, I will probably click.

Instead, I went to my bank's mobile app and found notifications on the login page that customers encountered fraudulent text messages. I took the link to my computer and pulled the page down using wget. The link points to a Google App Engine page that contains a link in the IFRAME element to a Russian website - a website that tried to simulate a login to a banking website. Exposure to public data and the collection of personal information by marketers. This type of data is often collected in leaked or compromised databases. Scammers can target a large number of customers of a particular brand just by associating their relationship with a company with their phone number. I don't have good scientific knowledge about the targeted prevalence of "SMS", but a random sample of family and friends shows that this is not just a passing problem: in some cases, it accounts for half of their daily text messages.

Most of them are equivalent to pop-up ads on the web. Some of the targeted text messages I've seen appear to be from popular services - like Netflix, for example:

Netflix: [Name] Please update your membership with us to continue watching. [Incorrect URL]

Incorrect link to a site claiming that my last payment was declined, and I had 48 hours to reactivate my account. Zoom/Really site Very pure.

Clicking this link takes you to a series of pages that are redirected by a "tracker" site that is configured to filter suspicious clicks (such as PC browser clicks) and mobile browsers only to their destination. They send whatever they want - in this Case, a Netflix-like service is trying to get you a membership. Your IP address is one of the arguments sent to the final URL to avoid unwanted domain from "customers".

Surely this is a simple scam. But The same tracking sites are used by a wide variety of scams, including text messaging and “fake alerts” scams for mobile browser popups. These types of scams often have an immediate call to action. Another common angle is Claiming the recipient's IP address is being 'tracked by viruses' by rap i to the app store page - usually a suspicious VPN app that might actually do nothing to do nothing but collect 'in'. "App Payments" through Apple or Google App Stores for a service that isn't working, or that service is working - but not in the way the owner wants. Eliminate Fake Images

Despite the efforts of large companies to verify the security of apps before them, fraudulent programmers available for download in app stores are constantly bringing bad things to the iOS and Android markets - bad or "free" apps With limited (or non-existent) use of these scams, users pay large sums of money. P> Install this app or otherwise. Zoom in/Install this app, or otherwise. Chanin Wardkhian / Getty Images

Most of these programs are offered for free, but have in-app payments — including subscription fees that automatically expire after a "trial period" that begins with a short, which may not be completely transparent to the user. Software like what is often referred to as "Fleeceware" can ship what the developer wants frequently. And they may continue to charge after the user uninstalls the app.

You should check your subscription list to make sure you don't get charged for apps you've uninstalled (this works differently on iOS and Google Play) and delete any items you don't use.

Sometimes malware can pass through an App Store scan. Upon arrest, developer accounts related to apps are usually suspended, and apps are removed from stores and (usually) from the devices on which they are installed. But often the developers of these apps go to another developer account or use other ways to show their apps to the users.

It followed a pop-up advertising campaign that pushed smartphone users to "safety" in both apps stores, using fake alert screens that resemble mobile operating system alerts that warn of viral infections on devices. When he spotted ads on his iOS device, he ended up opening a VPN app page from a Belarusian developer that earned $10 a week for services. The App Store listing was full of 4 star reviews (possibly fake), along with a number of real customers who found out that they had been scammed.

The application itself succeeded in some way - it guides all users. Internet traffic through a server in Belarus allows intermediate human attacks and the collection of massive amounts of user data.

Sure, the advanced user of the device knows that these programs are fraudulent and accurate. Get them right away, right? Maybe - but how many iOS and Android users have this level of complexity?

Securing Your Digital Life, Part 3: How Smartphones Are Making Us Vulnerable
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