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Hackers targeting mobiles and social networks

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Symantec has released it annual Internet Security Threat Report which reveals the smartphone and social networks are the latest targets for hackers.

With the huge uptake of smartphones last year, the threat level increased with 42 per cent more vulnerabilities discovered in 2010 compared to 2009.

On the social networking side, cyber criminals used news feeds on popular sites to spread their attacks and link to malicious websites.  

According to the report, hackers have even taken to impersonating friends to launch their attacks.

The news feeds from these hacked accounts would lead them to all their friends to spread spam, scams and other attacks.

It’s not uncommon for Facebook and Twitter users to shorten URLs (web addresses) to fit them into tweets and status updates.

Resourceful cyber crims are using these shortened URLs to hide their malicious links. 73 per cent of these links were clicked 11 times or more.

Your mobile can also be a target.

Hackers are now targeting smartphones

What looked like legitimate applications – particularly those for the Android operating system downloaded from Chinese sites – were actually trojans which allowed hackers to send SMS messages, make calls and even show the actual location of the device without identifying the user.

This was less evident on iPhones but jailbroken devices – iPhones unlocked to install your own apps and software – were most at risk.

Internet security company Symantec identified more than 286 million new threats last year.

The US and China were the top sources for overall malicious activity – between them in 2010 they accounted for 35 per cent of the worldwide total.

www.symantec.com.au