Security Researchers Caution Smartphone Users on Information Security Threats

Recently, security researchers identified security flaws in Wi-Fi, which could be exploited to extract sensitive information and conduct identity theft and fraud.
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Albuquerque, NM ( April 27, 2011 - Albuquerque, NM, United States - Advancements in information and communication technologies have led to development and proliferation of innovative mobile and wireless devices. The changing dynamics of business has resulted in increased penetration of smartphones in large organizations. According to a survey by market research firm TNS, smartphone usage represents more than 50% of all handheld wireless devices used by corporate users in United States (U.S). Further, one in three households now use smartphones, signifying growth in consumer adoption.

At the same time, mobile devices are increasingly becoming popular targets of cybercriminals. Almost all IT security firms have cautioned users against rising threat to mobile and wireless devices. Recently, security researchers identified security flaws in Wi-Fi, which could be exploited to extract sensitive information and conduct identity theft and fraud. The research sponsored by Guardian involved tests with volunteers. Security researchers were able to extract confidential information such as usernames, passwords, and messages from smartphones. The research identified that fraudsters may easily download communications equipment and software, from the Internet and set up counterfeit Wi-Fi gateways in hotels, train stations and airports. Attackers may use software, which could be run on a laptop to decrypt information transmitted through the gateway.

In case of another test by security researchers, a counter Wi-Fi hotspot was used, which enticed users to connect to Internet by paying through credit card. Users have to click a box to accept the terms and conditions. The terms and conditions clearly indicate that personal log in and credit card information could be used for any purpose. Negligent users, who agree to the services, without reading the terms and conditions, expose themselves to data theft. The extracted information could be misused for making fraudulent transactions, impersonation, and collecting further user and company information. Fraudsters could also gain unauthorized access to e-mail accounts, and use them for propagating spam e-mails.

The vibrant threats pose challenge to counter crime agencies. Hiring services of information security experts could help counter crime agencies in identifying fake schemes and techniques used by fraudsters. Professionals working with counter crime agencies could update themselves on latest threats by undertaking e-learning and online university degree programs.

Fraudsters also strive to identify and exploit security flaws in mobile devices. The recent spate of data breaches has reemphasized the significance of information security. While mobile devices add to the convenience of the users, manufacturers must address the information security concerns of customers. Professionals qualified in masters of security science and penetration testing may help manufactures in identifying the security flaws in devices and recommend corrective action.

Regulatory authorities must collaborate with manufactures, counter crime agencies and information security experts to create security awareness among users. Online degree programs, e-tutorials, e-flyers and social media sites could be used to create understanding of security threats and precautionary measures to be adopted by customers.

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EC-Council University is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and offers Master of Security Science (MSS) degree to students from various backgrounds such as graduates, IT Professionals, and military students amongst several others. The MSS is offered as a 100% online degree program and allows EC-Council University to reach students from not only the United States, but from all around the world.

EC-Council is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in cybersecurity and e-commerce skills. It is the owner and developer of 16 security certifications, including Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) and EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)/License Penetration Tester (LPT). Its certificate programs are offered in over 60 countries around the world.

EC-Council has trained over 80,000 individuals and certified more than 30,000 members, through more than 450 training partners globally. These certifications are recognized worldwide and have received endorsements from various government agencies including the U.S. federal government via the Montgomery GI Bill, Department of Defense via DoD 8570.01-M, National Security Agency (NSA) and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS). EC-Council also operates the global series of Hacker Halted security conferences.


Tag Words: information security, fraud, unauthorized access, identity theft, security threat, vulnerabilities, security flaw, wifi, smartphone, wifi hotspots
Categories: Security

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