Beware: Rise in Mobile Phishing Attacks

October 28, 2019



For many, our mobile devices are nearly attached to us at all times — in our hands, in our pockets, or in our purses. Beyond using them for business and personal calls and texting, our mobile smartphones have given us unprecedented access to the world wide web right at our fingertips — with email, e-commerce, banking, social media and much more all just a few clicks away. With that convenience, however, has come some added security risks, such as a rise in mobile phishing attacks.

Phishing has become a problematic threat across many platforms in recent years — as scammers mask communications as coming from a known user or organization to solicit sensitive information from targets — and, with our increasing reliance on mobile smartphones, that’s where many cybercriminals are turning their attention. Phishing has traditionally been relegated to emails, but according to a recent report from Security Boulevard, some scammers have started using SMS text messaging as well.

Since so many of us reflexively open text messages without even considering the source, it’s no wonder that this has become a prime target for phishers. With a simple spoofing of a phone number, cybercriminals can easily mask their identities and just may be successful at scamming their target into divulging personal information, all in a method that is much harder to track, report and stop than other types of phishing.

While there has been a rise in mobile phishing attacks based on SMS texting, the trend has also extended to email. Many email users today check their messages through their phones and, as such, are used to emails designed for mobile use, as opposed to desktop. Phishers have picked up on this and are creating phishing messages modeled after the mobile versions used by banks, stores, and other organizations that could involve sensitive information-gathering.

It’s vital that mobile users begin to think differently about how they use their phones — instead of just enjoying their potential for information and entertainment, they should be treated as a significant security threat. Taking smart steps like only using a private email is one way to start shifting that mindset. With a private email, such as no matter if you’re checking your messages on your mobile device or a desktop, you can trust that senders are who they say they are — and that all of your confidential information will be treated safely and securely.


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