08 September 2011

Cybercrime spreading to Canadian cellphones


Lock up your cellphones.
That's the message from a new cybercrime report from security company Norton by Symantec.
The survey found 5% of Canadians have experienced a mobile-related cybercrime, half of the global average of 10%. But that doesn't mean Canadians are safe, Lynn Hargrove, the director of consumer solutions of Symantec Canada, told QMI Agency.
The mobile market "is the next emerging place where criminals are going to go," she said. "Mobile phone malware across the board is increasing."
People don't think of their phones the same way as their computers, she said. Many don't have passwords or security features on their phones and Hargrove said it's a recipe for disaster.
In Canada, the number of people who have experienced cybercrime in their lifetime is up from 64% in 2010 to 69% in 2011.
Computer viruses and malware once again topped the list, affecting 59% of the survey's respondents overall, and 54% of which were in the last 12 months.
Online scams came in second, while criminals phishing for personal information was third.
The survey, which interviewed 19,636 people in 24 countries between Feb. 6 and March 14, found 35% of Canadian adults do not have up-to-date security software.
The increase is attributed simply to the fact that there are more crimes and people are being duped by cybercriminals who are changing up their tactics.
"Hackers are getting smarter and it's not the Nigerian prince anymore," Hargrove said, although she noted that scam does still exist and some people do fall prey to it.
Instead, she said, many cybercrimes hit people emotionally and personally, such as the scam where a person e-mails friends to say they're on vacation, they've been robbed and they need money. In most cases, the person allegedly asking for the money is not on vacation or in trouble, and has no idea their e-mail has been hacked and their friends are being scammed out of their money.
But while these kinds of scams are illegal, and people are angry about it -- 89% of global respondents said more needs to be done to bring cybercriminals to justice -- most people aren't reporting the crimes, Hargrove said.
"There's a disconnect," she said. "There's a sense of apathy with Canadians. They feel they are going to be victims."
Some people are embarrassed they were scammed and they're angry, but they also feel there's no way to avoid it.
The first step to make things better is to report the crimes, Hargrove said. People also need to protect themselves when they're online -- no matter what device they're using to connect.
"This is a global problem and it's not getting better," she said. "The Internet is a wonderful place, but they need to protect themselves."

Source: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/09/07/cybercrime-spreading-to-canadian-cellphones

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