As increasing numbers of consumers and enterprises opt for Smartphones, AdaptiveMobile warns users to be security aware as cyber criminals go mobile

Dublin, Ireland, 7 November 2010 - With Smartphones predicted to outsell PCs in 2011, mobile security expert AdaptiveMobile, the world leader in mobile security today issues a stark reminder to mobile users to remain vigilant of unsolicited content received on their handsets.

Research has shown that the average conversion rate for a traditional email-based spam campaign is just 0.000008 per cent – that is less than one respondent in a million recipients who receive an illicit spam email go on to purchase an advertised product.

However, examining conversion rates of mobile spam highlights a much more shocking trend. A typical SMS-based spamming scheme sees conversion rates higher than one per cent. Whilst this rate may seem still comparatively low, the impact on mobile users can be substantial – one SMS text message spam attack can generate more than $10 million in just three days.

The scams range from sophisticated attacks that exploit Smartphone capabilities to connect to the internet resulting in click fraud or as an entry vector for mobile viruses, through to simpler social engineering attacks that apply to any mobile handset, such as Missed Call Alerts or SMS messages claiming the recipient has won a prize draw and invites users to reply via SMS or by calling a premium rate number.

“With Spammers finding ways of avoiding the cost of sending bulk SMS, the traditional barrier to receiving spam on mobiles has been removed. In addition the rise of the Smartphone has brought about a revolution in the way we use our phones,” says Simeon Coney, VP Business development, AdaptiveMobile. “Until recently it was all about voice and text but these days our mobile handset is about so much more than that. Unfortunately however, this evolution has brought about a host of new threats from cyber criminals. The crux of the challenge is that whilst the way we are using our mobiles is changing, one thing remains the same – the fact that a mobile phone is a very personal device and people are intrinsically more trusting of communications via their handset than content in their email inboxes.

“Unlike email-based spamming which relies on the curiosity of a tiny minority clicking a link, the fact that mobile phone billing provides a direct link to our wallet makes mobile scams an attractive prospect to cyber criminals.  

“Users of PCs or laptops are typically conditioned to be suspicious of unusual links and keep their guard up against spam and phishing - it’s become second nature. However, as the mobile phone is such a personal device, people have grown too trusting when it comes to the content they receive. If they see a message which appears to be directed to them on their mobile, many users would click on it without out a second thought. Whilst the mobile operators are fighting the criminals at a network level, users too need to play their part if they’re to stay safe in an increasingly mobile world.”


About AdaptiveMobile:

AdaptiveMobile is the world leader in mobile security, enabling trusted networks for the world’s largest operator groups and protecting one in six subscribers globally. AdaptiveMobile provides Operators with the most comprehensive network-based security solutions enabling them to protect their consumer and enterprise customers against the growing threat of mobile abuse.