Recent research tells us that some 68 percent of information systems workers are using their own smart phones, and 69 percent are bringing their own tablets to work (Forrester Annual Survey: 2017). Goodness knows what the stats must be for wider society!
Top mobile threats include enterprise-class spyware and malware, including zero-day exploits that we don’t yet know about. Mobile botnets on android devices are becoming increasingly identified. One such, ‘Viking Horde’, was revealed in Google Play-accessed-apps in 2016. ‘Ad and click’ malware can also give hackers an easy route into an internal company network. Starting out as annoying ‘adware’, attackers can then spread surveillance spyware across the entire botnet.
Richard Bingley, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Cyber Academy said:
“Apps shouldn’t be treated as a permanent fixture on your phone. Review your apps each week and delete the ones you don’t use or read bad things about. Err on the side of caution.
Richard Bingley added:
“Lots of apps are being removed or deleted by Google Play and Apple stores, but reasons aren’t usually given. This means that if an app is infected with malware, or secretly leaking data to a third party, then the end-user might not know about that if they have already downloaded it prior to it becoming blacklisted. The big tech companies don’t proactively tell existing users.”
Today our Global Cyber Academy launches #SixSteps to help you see if you’re being tracked or breached on your smartphone:
- Dial: *#21# – see whether your data, including SMS, are being forwarded to a third party
- Dial: *#62# – see if your calls are being automatically forwarded. If so, where your calls get forwarded to? If your calls are ‘forwarded’, don’t be too alarmed initially if you see that your calls are forwarded to a number you don’t recognise. (This number might be a separate voicemail box run by your network service provider. The digest message might say that your calls are forwarded to this number after 20 seconds, or so. Mobile service providers often provide separate voicemail gateways, including for those overseas on ‘roaming’.) But you should certainly double-check with your service provider. Some suspicious numbers of known scammers and criminals are published online at: unknownphone.com. If you recognize the number as your arch-enemy, call the police!
- Dial: ##002# – to stop your calls being automatically forwarded (to whoever!)
- Dial: *#06# – to locate your 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) number. Write this down. If your phone gets lost or stolen, you can disable it (and even find it) with the network service provider (carrier). Or via a trusted online app including Google’s ‘Find My Device’ service
- Dial: *#*#4636#*#* – to find detailed configuration about your phone including call redirects, current network, usage and location. Check ‘Usage Statistics’ and ‘App Count Usage Time’ to double-check your apps use and remove any apps that are suspicious (for example, you might not use them, but they show high-usage)
- Search for the hero inside yourself! If you still feel that there is something suspicious, after conducting these tests, please contact your network service provider. If they’re too busy to talk it through with you, or carry out further tests, it’s time to tear up the contract!