Spyware used to be designed to target users of desktop computers and laptops, now a new wave of this malware is spreading onto the mobile landscape.
It is quite understandable why many spyware authors are now shifting their focus to mobile users: the profit from spying on mobile data and stealing sensitive information far outweighs that from traditional computers as more and more people are using tablets and smartphones most of the time. Even business enterprises are seeing exponential growth in mobile usage among employees.
There have been a number of spyware detected in the market recently, the latest being StealthGenie, which did not last long after law enforcers shut it down. Other spyware come in less sophisticated form so that users do not need highly technical skills to use them against random targets. This is why authorities such as the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies are ramping their efforts to thwart the spread of this malware.
Malicious actors use mobile spyware to remotely monitor the communications and online activities of their victims. The return from this malicious activity often includes geolocation data, email account access, social network information, and other mobile communication data. These are just some of the benefits that hackers are finding lucrative in this sort of business. Such pieces of sensitive data could be sold in volumes through the black market for hefty prices.
How to identify mobile spyware and avoid it?
Mobile spyware are often glossed over by their authors as legitimate software products in order to lure unsuspecting users into buying them. These malicious actors most of the time sell their glossed over spyware via websites with a professional look to them so that the malicious product appears legit.
In order to prevent your mobile phone from being infected with spyware, keep your device under your watch, seeing to it that it is safe from a third-party who could potentially introduce the spyware as it only takes a very short span of time to install a spyware.
As is always recommended, be sure that you have a mobile security software installed in your device in order to ward off spyware from attacking your gadget. Also, you need to have your device backed up just so you could restore data when you will need to back date your system setting to a prior period in time when it was still functioning quite well in case of a spyware infection.