Galaxy S4 Cloud Backup Presents Security Risk from adware and malware
Android phones have long gotten a bad rap for the state of their security, especially lately as the number of available apps containing malware has risen. However, it turns out that even if Galaxy S4 users take care in what apps they download, they might still be at risk of falling victim to scams or malware. China-based Internet security company Qihoo 360 has uncovered a vulnerability in the phone’s cloud backup service that would allow the phone’s SMS message system to be compromised.
If exploited, this vulnerability would let malicious software affect the phone’s user in two different ways. First, it could be used to send SMS messages that the phone’s owner is unaware of and didn’t authorize, including texts to enroll them in premium messaging services. Second, the software could fake incoming messages, making it look like the user’s friends, family or even their bank is messaging them. This makes users far more likely to fall for phishing scams; we’re much more likely to give out sensitive data when we’re sure we’re sending it to someone we trust.
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Qihoo 360 has released a temporary fix for the vulnerability. Samsung (News –Alert), for its part, is already working on a fix to the problem, but users may want to either disable the cloud backup service or use Qihoo 360’s solution until the official fix is released. This is far from the first time that SMS messaging has been used to scam consumers, however, and the issue doesn’t just occur with Android users. In fact, products exist for the sole purpose of protecting cell phone users against spam, phishing and malware propagated through SMS.
Although it’s certainly useful for users to be aware of the risks associated with text messaging and phishing scams, the truth of the matter is that the most significant risk to smartphone users is still lost phones; with studies suggesting that one in 10 users have lost their phones at one point, the easiest way to keep the data in one’s phone secure is simply by keeping a better eye on