Mobile Threats in Today’s Landscape

Mobile Threats in Today’s Landscape

The Cyber Security Industry has seen more sophisticated attacks emerging after having their hands full with digital security with the growing enterprises. A great dependency has been created on the versatile internet by the cloud-based services throughout the globe — from smart phones and smart watches, to security cameras and light switches which has created a connectivity network which was never imagined.  

Cheaper and faster internet has made it easier for hackers to probe, attack and create chaos by inserting malicious code over the network,  making it very difficult for cyber security employees to control these issues. Thus, Digital security has become a never-ending, full-time job demanding continuous enhancement of knowledge.                                                                                                                                                     

Major Mobile Threats 

With the existing threats to computers, mobile devices are more prone to cyber threats due to the latest technology which has not been tested against all security loopholes. These lead to mobile devices being more open to cyber attacks. Major mobile threats hunching the security’s back these days can be defined as given below: 

  • Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

As defined by researchers, there are no safe wireless networks, neither Wi-Fi nor a carrier. Encrypted Wi-Fi has fallen multiple times, and there have been attacks on carrier networks, such as the disclosure of the Soft Cell worldwide data theft campaign against carriers.  

Wireless attacks have been spreading across the globe and have been a great concern for IT managers because of their pace of extension. Sometimes it’s buggy firmware in a wireless chip or the core algorithms that are compromised by the attack. 

  • Physical disconnection/Theft of device

Theft and loss of Device is an old way of data attack. In the previous days, these devices were sold in the resale market for money, while these days , devices are being stolen for other social engineering attacks as well. Such loss of device is harming the organizations when their important data is lost due to theft of device or loss of organizational devices and is accessed by black hat groups, where black hat hackers use this information to either sell it to the competitor or for hacking the organization’s servers and database. The potential consequences after loss and theft are looking worse in 2020. These attacks can be evaded when the devices have proper security systems and are regularly updated by organizations. 

Simultaneously, considering the ‘modifications in the policy’, organizations should be shifting from an “anything goes” type of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment to a more controlled and configured Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) program that ensures, devices with access to valuable enterprise data are being properly protected. Although, CYOD comes with higher initial costs, yet the advantages of having greater control and consistency has the potential to pay off with fewer security incidents and happier end users. 

  • OS vulnerability

In 2019 multiple critical vulnerabilities were found in different versions of IOS and android where android announced one of its critical vulnerabilities to be “the most severe” of the three, as a hacker could take advantage and bar the user from having access to the device. Also the safest Operating system,  iOS’s most notorious vulnerability of 2019 was the discovery of the non fixable breach, Checkm8. Hence either you are using Apple or android there are always chances for your device being vulnerable at some point in time.  

  • Malicious Apps

There are more mobiles than humans now, leading to a platform where any application can be found and downloaded( as on the android playstore). This has led to an open platform for hackers to market their hidden attacks. Perhaps the most commonly touted security threat of 2019 rolls over to 2020 – human error. Despite the regular updates on cyber security incidents, like Capital One Data Breach there still remains a lack of device security knowledge among the non-technical population. 

 It is essential for individuals, on a personal and professional basis, to understand what common mobile security threats look like and how to determine their validity to prevent accidentally allowing a threat actor access to a device or network.  

2020 Report on Mobile Threats: 

MCAfee has published the 2020 Quarter 1 report on Mobile attacks and vulnerabilities. This report clearly displays the threat caused by Mobile malware in all its forms — spyware, phishing emails and DoS. These attacks remain to be big threats hovering under the radar of security and IT managers. These old threats haven’t gone away for one big reason which indicates that hackers like to remain stuck to a recipe book that has provided them great results in the past. 

A new Malware has been uncovered in this report which has had a major effect on States, 

 “A new malware family, called LeifAccess or Shopper, takes advantage of the accessibility features in Android to create accounts, download apps, and post reviews” 


Any attempt made to predict the upcoming attack’s nature on mobile devices, will just be a guessing game and not any accurate prediction. Organizations should try to zoom out and identify the weak areas and work on the defensive mechanisms to make their security stronger. While talking about security in mobile devices, planning for threats means improving defenses, increasing detection capabilities and creating security policy that is comprehensive and effective.