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Cyber criminals to target mobile devices

SEOUL, Oct 29 – Mobile devices will be the common target for cyber criminals in 2010, as more people access the internet for installation and software updates, according to Kenneth Silva, VeriSign Senior Vice President and CTO.

An attack on the mobile device operating system will affect the phone contacts, mobile banking log-ins and passwords and any other valuable information stored on the device, said Mr Silva, who was speaking at one of the sessions at the ongoing Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers meeting in Seoul.

"In the last two years, smart phones have become mainstream devices; global computing is coming to mobiles now especially in the emerging markets," Mr Silva added.

The increased number of phone applications that need updates was identified as an opportunity for phishing attacks as cyber criminals gain new ground and target vulnerable consumers.

"For instance; a jail broken phone compromises the phone\’s operating system and provides an avenue for hackers and other malicious attacks," he said.

Silva also identified Deliberate Denial of Service attacks, extortion, and corporate espionage as threats for 2010. According to the 2009 security threats and trends report by VeriSign, most of the attacks will be perpetrated by cartels operating in China, Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

"There is no international force that goes after cyber attackers; most of them operate in countries where trademark and intellectual property laws are not well enforced," said Mr Silva.

However, as countries become more affected by cyber criminals, they are prioritising cyber security laws and developing ways for security agents to collaborate, detect and arrest the criminals.

"Cyber crime has become a national priority for Australia, South Korea, Israel, US and the UK where law enforcement agencies have been trained to tackle the threats," he added.

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With increased forensic capability and greater collaboration between countries is likely to act as a deterrent factor as the criminals arrests.

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