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Mobile Devices And Social Networks Face Increasing Security Risks

Security software vendor Symantec has warned of a growing number of attacks on social networking platforms and mobile operating systems.

In its annual Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, the company advises that cyber criminals will increasingly target popular web and mobile platforms and warned about the increase in use of attack toolkits available on underground markets.

According to Symantec, social networking platforms Facebook and Twitter and Google's Android mobile operating system are particularly vulnerable to an increasing amount of attacks.

Symantec engineer Sian John told V3, “As people use smartphones to do more they are becoming an increasing target of attack, mostly as Trojans posing as legitimate applications. Because we have these unvetted third party app stores, they are getting downloaded.”

The company recorded 286 million new threats in 2010 and expects the number to grow further this year. Symantec also reported a 93 per cent rise in web based attacks during the year, thanks to easily available attack toolkits and malware on social networking platforms.

Symantec found that hackers had taken to using shortened URLs on social networking platforms for spreading the malware. According to the company, 73 per cent of rogue URLs found on such websites were clicked on more than 11 times by unsuspecting users.