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Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends

Study: cyber attacks on smart devices become more common

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULast year, the number of malware and virus attacks on smart devices had tripled in comparison with 2015. Because of that, users should think more about the security of their personal data, states Kaspersky Lab study.

Experts reveal that the number of installations of fraudulent and injurious programmes exceeded 8.5 million, which is three times more than there was in 2015. Trojan viruses were the most common forms of malware last year. These viruses threaten devices with outdated operating systems the most. Bite mobile service operator has compiled a list of recommendations for users to consider if they want to protect their devices from virtual threats.

Do not open files and links received from unknown senders

Several days ago, the internet and social networks were shaken by the news that a virus is found in WhatsApp communication application. Unfortunately, this popular app, much like Facebook, is not safe from hacker threats. This is why developers recommend users to pay attention to the messages they receive. This applies to messages requested to be forwarded and messages threatening users with a ban unless they forward the message or offer all kinds of bonuses.

«Do not download anything or open any files, click on Play button to listen to any voice messages and click on links received from unknown senders. Users can be blocked and their messages – deleted,» experts say.

Use an antivirus, because threats can be found even on supposedly safe websites

«What can be safer than Google Play, right? Nevertheless, Kaspersky Lab discovered at least 50 new mobile applications infected with in February alone. Those applications were downloaded more than 100,000 times. It is worth mentioning that this type of malware uses information theft and infection of devices with viruses,» authors of the study say.

Kaspersky Lab also mentions that distributors of Trojan viruses often hide behind popular apps, such as Pokemon GO guide. This fake app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times so far.

«Cyber criminals mask themselves well. This is why it is becoming harder and harder to uncover their malware, especially on websites that are considered reliable. This is why it is important to pay attention to data safety on mobile devices. We have done this on behalf of our clients by including antivirus functionality as a bonus in the new tariff plans. It not only warns about potentially dangerous websites, but also has no visible effect on the device’s speed or memory. Even more so – clients do not have to install or update anything – Bite will do that on their behalf. It is worth considering, however, that by connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, the device will no longer be secure, because our antivirus only works in Bite network,» explains Bite technical director Gints Butens.

Butens mentions that Trojan was the most common type of malware that infected smart devices in 2016. Different types of ransomware were also common, as were different Trojan viruses specializing in theft of payment data.

Don’t jump into cyber criminals’ net – use public Wi-Fi networks carefully

Public Wi-Fi networks that do not use passwords and allow many users to connect at the same time are a popular gathering place for cyber criminals. Using public Wi-Fi networks opens the device for public view. Information that is put at risk the most includes e-mail addresses, passwords, payment information, etc. Hackers can also use the public network to infect devices with viruses that will later infect other devices.

Experts advise users to avoid inputting payment information and passwords when using public Wi-Fi networks. Secondly, it is highly important to pay attention to the names of known websites, as hackers often try to fake them and fool users into providing private information to fraudulent websites.

«We often remember risks only when it is too late. It is no surprise that British Lloyd’s insurance company has concluded that companies around the world lose around USD 400 billion every year just because hackers infect computers and smart-phones with viruses. This problem is becoming more and more topical around the world. Our clients say the matter of mobile device security is important to them. For example, latest data from customer surveys show that every third client already uses an antivirus programme and 35% are considering it. This is why we include an antivirus in our new tariff plans,» adds Butens, noting that Bite is the first and the only mobile communications operator in Latvia that offers such a service.


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