Smartphone hacking could hit business: academic

Dr. Kevin Curran.
Dr. Kevin Curran.

An anticipated upsurge in smartphone hacking will present a real challenge for businesses in 2012, according to a Derry-based academic.

Dr Kevin Curran, an internet security expert, says simple steps like creating strong secure passwords and updating phone software can help guarantee security of business and personal information.

Dr. Curran, who is based at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus, says people are generally aware of the cyber-security threats associated with PCs and laptops but don’t see their smartphones as computers and subject to the same threats.

“With more people using the same phone for business and personal reasons, the upsurge in smartphone hacking presents a real issue for businesses as well as consumers,” he says. “With more senior employees using phones for work, it is likely to be top executives who are exposing businesses to vulnerabilities.

“Smartphone users represent approximately 20 percent of the mobile market, so expect to see an explosion in smartphone attacks, both by technical experts and by novices buying tools from ‘dark’ websites and conducting low-tech but effective scams. It only takes a couple seconds to steal personal information but it can have a devastating impact.”