Cyber thieves to target mobile apps in future


In a recent case reported in Ahmedabad, a company that developed applications was struck by data thieves – who were, in fact, the company’s former employees. A group of four employees had suddenly quit one day, citing different reasons. A month later, the owner of the company discovered the theft when he noticed that an application developed by his firm was on sale with a different name and logo. Investigations revealed that the employees had stolen the data while leaving the company and had manipulated it.

According to experts, the theft exemplifies the future of cyber crime, in which mobile phone applications and new additions to technology – such as cloud computing – will be targeted by hackers. However, impersonation, data theft, espionage and phishing will remain prevalent in ever-changing forms. These were some of the insights presented by experts who gathered at a workshop organised by DSCI and GFSU in Gandhinagar on Friday.

Dr J M Vyas, director general of GFSU, said in his speech that cyber security had now become a basic necessity for everyone using internet and computers. He said that investigators as well as the public needed to become aware of cyber security’s significance. “We hear about cyber attacks now and then, and the day is not far off when wars will be fought on cyber frontiers,” he said.

Vinayak Godse, director of data protection, DSCI, told that the worrisome part about cyber crime was that it could not only affect individual computers but could also cripple a defence system or even the economy. “Thus, more and more strategic installations are going off the grid or developing their own networks to be safe from hackers,” he said.

Experts emphasised that the Android operating system for mobile phones was vulnerable to such assaults. “Applications for this platform can be made by anybody and put up online,” said an IT security expert. “While this is a boon for users, it can become a potential threat as a malware can steal crucial data when a user surfs internet from his tablet or mobile device. We thus advise users not to download any unidentified applications directly from websites.”

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