Your smartphone could be hacked without your knowledge

1:50 PM ETCNBC.comSHARES

Hacking your smartphone

The majority of smartphone users unknowingly give hackers access to their phones by doing this one thing. CNBC’s Andrea Day explains.

Not only can your smartphone be hacked, it can be done very easily without your knowledge.

“At the end of the day, everything is hackable. What I am surprised about is that people sometimes forget that it’s so easy to hack into these devices,” said Adi Sharabani, the co-founder of mobile security company Skycure, who used to work for Israeli Intelligence.

Even if a malicious attacker cannot get into your phone, they can try to get the sensitive data stored inside, including contacts, places visited and e-mails.

“It’s important to realize that the services your smartphone relies on are much more attractive target to attackers. So for example, the photo leak that happened from iCloud where a bunch of celebrities had their photos posted all over the Internet is the perfect example,” said Alex McGeorge, the head of threat intelligence at cybersecurity company Immunity, Inc.

Often, the hack or data breach occurs without the consumer’s knowledge, according to Sharabani.

And it’s not just consumers that criminals target. With the rise of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, hackers attempt to attack enterprises through vulnerabilities in mobile devices.

Both Sharabani and McGeorge perform attack simulations for clients and find that these hacking demonstrations usually go undetected.

“It’s usually very rare that a breach that originated through a mobile device or is just contained to a mobile device is likely to be detected by a corporation’s incident response team,” McGeorge said.

And Sharibani agrees. He says he’s still waiting for someone to call him and say that their IT department identified the attack demonstration.

“No one knows,” he said. “And the fact that organizations do not know how many of their mobile devices encountered an attack in the last month is a problem.”

Read MoreCost of data breaches hits $4 million on average: IBM

But there is a silver lining, according to the wireless industry.

“The U.S. has one of the lowest malware infection rate in the world thanks to the entire wireless ecosystem working together and individually to vigilantly protect consumers,” said John Marinho, vice president of technology & cybersecurity at CTIA, the wireless association. CTIA is an industry group which represents both phone carriers and manufacturers.

Here are the three ways a smartphone is most likely to be breached.

View the Original article

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