Security threat on smartphones and tablets

Computer scientists at Rutgers University have demonstrated that rootkits (a familiar threat on PCs) can now attack your smartphones or upcoming tablet computers (like iPad).

Vinod Ganapathy, professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey says “Smart phones are essentially becoming regular computers. They run the same class of operating systems as desktop and laptop computers, so they are just as vulnerable to attack by malware.”

Rootkit attacks on smart phones or upcoming tablet computers could be more devastating because smart phone owners tend to carry their phones with them all the time. This creates opportunities for potential attackers to eavesdrop, extract personal information from phone directories, or just pinpoint a user’s whereabouts by querying the phone’s Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. Smart phones also have new ways for malware to enter the system, such as through a Bluetooth radio channel or via text message.

The Rutgers researchers have shown that the malware in a mobile device can be even more devastating than the one on computer.

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Abhijit Kulkarni

Abhijit Kulkarni

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