15 Dec 2010

New report says smartphones vulnerable to malware

Malware isn’t just a threat for computers anymore. According to a recent report by the European Network and Information Security Agency, smartphones are increasingly at risk for malware infection.

ENISA’s report found that spyware, poor data cleansing when recycling phones, accidental data leakage and unauthorized premium calls were the biggest risks to smartphone security.

"Smartphones are a goldmine of sensitive and personal information - it's vital to understand how to maintain our control over this data,” said Giles Hogben, the report’s co-author. "We've designed our recommendations to plug into a typical security policy,"

With their internet access, smartphones are also vulnerable to phishing scams, the report found. Fake apps and text messages containing malware are a significant risk.

"Given the growing importance of smartphones for EU businesses, governments and citizens, we consider it essential to assess their security and privacy implications," said Udo Helmbrecht, executive director of ENISA.

Some internet security experts predicted this development. One anti-malware company said that cyber criminals would target smartphones in its 2011 security predictions report.