It seems as though each week there is some new security vulnerability involving smartphones, highlighting the need to be aware of the inherent risks that come with carrying so much data on a mobile device. Last month, it was discovered that some Samsung phones could be remotely wiped through malicious website links. Hackers could perform factory resets on phones and lock the SIM card, wiping everything without warning. Shortly after the Samsung hack was discovered, Android users found their phones to be equally vulnerable. Although Samsung quickly issued a patch to fix the glitch and several apps were developed to protect against the vulnerability, countless phones were affected in the meantime.
This week, SC Magazine reported on another mobile device flaw, this time one that tracks 3G devices and reveals a phone’s location. Attackers could manipulate this vulnerability to track a user’s movements within a building, a fairly disturbing concept. 3GPP, the 3G global industry watchdog, was notified of the flaws but has yet to implement a fix.
It’s unlikely that hacks such as these will become any less common, especially as people become more dependent on their mobile devices. While phone manufacturers will do their best to keep up with known security vulnerabilities, new flaws are typically discovered by someone other than the manufacturer. You can limit the possibility of attack on your own devices by applying updates and patches for your phone in a timely fashion, and staying aware of any security threats in the news. While it may not make your phone invincible, following security best practices can keep your phone, and your data, safe.