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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Smartphone users exposed to threats from cyber hackers

KUALA LUMPUR: About seven million smartphone users nationwide are exposed to threats from cyber hackers who make use of their gadgets to steal their money.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said lack of awareness on the risks of smartphone security made users easy victims.

“The modus operandi is to send short messaging service known as Trojans to users who unknowingly will be charged when replying to the SMS,” he said. “Consumers only realise this when they are slapped with high phone bills although they did not use the service.”

The scam was detected via applications such as “Type-On” which, when downloaded, would cause smartphone users to bear the cost although they had uninstalled the application.

Lookout Mobile Security was quoted by AFP as saying that worldwide, users lost millions of dollars last year via malware and toll fraud that attacked smartphone users for accessing applications from unofficial sources rather than trusted ones such as Apple or Google online shops.

Syed Ismail said police statistics recorded from January to September this year showed that losses incurred via SMS or phone calls totalled RM21.8mil.

The hackers target users of Internet banking or phone banking by hacking and abusing the network, including the online purchases of goods.

Online purchases recorded the highest losses of RM14.5mil (1,298 cases) followed by SMS or phone call with RM3.4mil (412 cases), hacking (RM3.3mil via 24 cases) and Internet banking and phone banking with RM590,000 (74 cases). - Bernama

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