Is your mobile device safe from hackers?

Don’t be fooled by a bogus app.

Consumers may associate hacks and security breaches with the PC, but thanks to the massive growth of smartphones and tablets in the past few years, cybercriminals are turning attention to the budding platform, looking for new ways to extract personal identification and credit card information from unsuspecting users.

Although mobile security makes headlines daily — with harrowing statistics, such as the fact that approximately 40 percent of U.S. mobile users will click on an unsafe link this year — the biggest trend in mobile vulnerability is related to apps.

“While mobile hacks can happen in any number of ways, one of the most common access points is through insecure apps,” Zach Lanier, researcher at Veracode, tells Mashable. “People should be concerned about what information the apps they install have access to and what gets shared on a regular basis. Users should also be more wary of which free Wi-Fi hubs they’re connecting to, as most users don’t think twice about connecting to any free and open wireless network.”

For example, about 100,000 Android apps — of the 650,000 total apps in Google Play — were recently considered “suspicious” or “questionable,” according to research conducted by security software firm Bit9. Although not all of the apps were deemed malicious, they performed questionable tasks and have access to private information, which present a risk to enterprises.

“With mobile gadget growth projected to triple by 2015, there’s no reason to believe mobile hacks will do anything but follow that trend,” Lainer says. “Android is particularly more susceptible to attacks, and its apps market has been in the spotlight recently for a lack of any type of security standards protecting its users.”

Of the 6 million people affected by Android malware from June 2011 to June 2012, most were affected by toll fraud applications, when an unsuspecting victim is billed through premium SMS services such as wallpaper subscriptions. This type of fraud makes up 62 percent of all threats found on mobile apps, according to Lookout’s 2012 State of Mobile Security Report.

More from Mashable

7 Tech Luminaries Who Died in 2012

Should Live Tweeting Be Protected Like Broadcast Rights?



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…