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Mobile devices possess vulnerabilities that make them attractive and easy targets for exploitation.
The first major cyber threat to mobile devices stems from the size and portability nature of these devices. Since these devices contain sensitive and large volumes of information, theft or loss of a mobile device can be a major problem to the user. These devices are packed with volumes of information related to the owner of the device. Unfortunately, people accidentally leave these devices in cars, airplanes and hotels (National Computer Board, 2011). In addition, it is easy for such devices to be stolen from one’s bag or pocket, especially in crowded places. If the device ends up the hands of criminals, critical information such as bank account numbers, emails, passwords and PINs can be accessed (US-CERT, 2010). With such information, the criminal is in a position to carry out various activities without the knowledge of the user. For example, the criminal may transfer a given sum of money from the victim’s account within a short period of time. Due to the portable nature and size of these devices, they can easily be misplaced or stolen.
The loss of the device is not the only threat to these devices. Mobile devices are vulnerable to malware in similar ways to desktop computers. There are specific malware that have been targeted to these devices. These are usually transmitted when one downloads applications that contain malware. In many cases, mobile malware is contained in most of the applications available for free on the internet, and these usually masquerade as security software of games. For instance, in a paper by the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) (2010), the malware known as Ikee.B is discussed. These malware is an iPhone worm that is able to search and forward financial information that is stored on iPhones. Therefore, as the example shows, malware can also be used to
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