Definition

mobile device attack

A mobile device attack is an exploit targeting handheld communications devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Ed Skoudis, founder and senior security consultant of InGuardians, a security consulting firm, describes one scenario: "Bad guys are going to the Android Marketplace, pulling down an app, building a backdoor into it and selling it in another Android app store for a lower price."

As with other types of device attacks, the ultimate target is usually a network rather than the device itself. If a corporate network is not secure, access can be simple. Errata Security CTO Dave Maynor described a potential exploit: An attacker mails an iPhone with a high-capacity battery to the target organization. If the corporate network allows ad-hoc connections for employee's wireless devices, the attacker can connect to the network and access any information available to authorized users.

To protect the corporate network from such attacks, Skoudis recommends that corporations develop mobile security policies and evaluate mobile apps before allowing them. Skoudis also recommended that businesses develop a robust, secure wireless infrastructure, with a segmented wireless network dedicated solely to any mobile devices not deployed by the enterprise.

 

This was last updated in August 2012
Contributor(s): Eric B. Parizo, Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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