Report: Botnet spam attacks to target mobile phones

Spam may soon spill out beyond your inbox and start slithering onto your mobile phone, warns a new report.

The same week one of the world's worst spam operations is being shut down, security researchers are warning the next big threat may not be for PCs at all -- but rather for mobile phones.

Mobile Move

A report issued Wednesday by the Georgia Tech Information Security Center says spam and other botnet-based attacks will make the move to mobile in the coming months. The study, called the Emerging Cyber Threats Forecast for 2009 (PDF), was presented at the GTISC Security Summit in the US.

"As Internet telephony and mobile computing handle more and more data, they will become more frequent targets of cyber crime," the researchers say.

Bot Targets

The concern is that hackers will begin stealthily taking over phones the way they've taken over network computers, turning them into virtual "bots" to do their bidding (hence the term "botnet"). Because of mobile phones' increasing computing power -- not to mention their always-on nature -- the researchers fear they'll soon become an obvious target.

"Large cellular botnets could then be used to perpetrate a [denial of service] attack against the core of the cellular network," says Patrick Traynor, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech involved in the study. "But because the mobile communications field is evolving so quickly, it presents a unique opportunity to design security properly -- an opportunity we missed with the PC," he adds.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags botnet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

JR Raphael

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?