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Cyber-Crime Goes Social and Mobile

‘Cyber-crime’, a word most of us know; but a better clarification on the same is good before we begin. Cyber-crime holds a broad array of activities or incidents, some of which include computer viruses or malicious software, forging, spoofed/fake email or website which captures personal details, online bullying/ stalking, hate crime or other form of online harassment, hacking into personal profile/account, scams, online credit card fraud, identity theft, an unsolicited SMS text messages, and so on.

As above, Cyber-crime can be anything, which includes data theft or breach, without the owner’s permission. As consumers go mobile, so do criminals. Hence, compared to the earlier attempts of cyber-crime over Desktops, now attackers are more oriented on mobile and social networking. A mixture of socially engineered and blended attacks is what attackers are now using.

Cyber-crime over Mobile device
News like ‘iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Top Two Million in First 24 Hours’ displays how indispensable mobile devices have become for us today. According to the ‘2012 Norton Cyber-crime Report’, every 2 of 3 adult uses a mobile device to connect to the internet today. The increase on mobile usage is also realized by the Cyber-criminals.

The bait that attracts cyber-criminals is not the vast usage of mobiles but also the numerous hidden vulnerabilities in them. Mobile vulnerabilities doubled in 2011 over 2010. That in itself is alarming. But apart from these facts, the matter to worry more is the fact that 44% people aren’t even aware that security solutions exist for mobile devices. Every 2 out of 3 persons don’t have security for their mobile devices. Using unsecured Wi-Fi connections is yet another source of vulnerabilities. SOAR

Socially engineered Cyber-crime
Apart from Mobile, with increasing usage of social media, cyber-criminals are also going social now. Figures say that, every 4 people out of 10 people have been a victim of cyber crime through social sites. While some complain their accounts have been hacked, others are concerned about their accounts being eyed upon. Apart from this, 1/3rd of the population using social networking sites have fallen victim to the scams on such sites.

The major reasons behind most attacks through social platforms are:


  • 1/3rd of the users don’t log out from one session
  • 1/5th among the users don’t check the link before clicking on it
  • 1/6th people aren’t aware about their privacy settings, and lastly,
  • Less than half don’t use any security measures to protect their accounts.


Apart from these issues, 36% users accept friend requests from strangers, increasing their vulnerabilities.

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