Smartphone malware has risen by 273 per cent in 2011, so it’s no surprise that the UK government, police and technology giants have launched a new campaign to warn against fraud on your Android.
Get Safe Online, aims to educate citizens about the importance of protecting their handsets from the threat of hacked apps, especially those which can end up costing them serious money.
“[Some] malware is capable of sending a steady stream of text messages to premium rate numbers – in some instances we’ve seen one being sent every minute,” explained Rik Ferguson, a Trend Micro hacking researcher, to BBC News. “With costs of up to £6 per message, this can be extremely lucrative. The user won’t know this is taking place, even if they happen to be using the device at the same time, as the activity takes place within the device’s back-end infrastructure.”
The Get Safe Online website offers numerous tools for recognising and avoiding a malware infection on your Android including a rough guide, advice and videos. Partners in the project include the likes of PayPal, Norton Symatec and HSBC, who all have considerable experience in the field of online fraud.
“More and more people are using their smartphone to transmit personal and financial information over the internet, whether it’s for online banking, shopping or social networking,” states Francis Maude, the Minister for Cyber Security.”Research from Get Safe Online shows that 17% of smartphone users now use their phone for money matters and this doesn’t escape the notice of criminals.”