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 Friday, August 11, 2006

"As cell phones and PDAs become more technologically advanced, attackers are finding new ways to target victims. By using text messaging or email, an attacker could lure you to a malicious site or convince you to install malicious code on your portable device."

The U.S. CERT (Computer Emergence Readiness Team) recently published a list of tips for users on how they can protect themselves against these increasing threats.

What unique risks do cell phones and PDAs present?

Most current cell phones have the ability to send and receive text messages. Some cell phones and PDAs also offer the ability to connect to the internet. Although these are features that you might find useful and convenient, attackers may try to take advantage of them. As a result, an attacker may be able to accomplish the following:

  • Abuse your service;
  • Lure you to a malicious web site;
  • Use your cell phone or PDA in an attack;
  • Gain access to account information.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Follow general guidelines for protecting portable devices;
  • Be careful about posting your cell phone number and email address;
  • Do not follow links sent in email or text messages;
  • Be wary of downloadable software;
  • Evaluate your security settings.

Read the full article on the U.S. CERT website.