[caption id="attachment_70552" align="aligncenter" width="950"] Rise of Smartphones Makes Them Prime Target for Criminals[/caption]Do you have that hard to reach location in your house where the phone isn't picking up a sufficiently strong cell phone signal? Never fear, femtocell's here. The tech gadget is a quasi-cell phone tower and can boost a signal sufficient to allow a strong signal within a certain radius. In practice, it's much like a WIFI booster which does the same thing to extend the range of a wireless router in a home or office. However, as professional hackers at the security firm iSEC recently demonstrated, the femtocell can be used to capture all the Verizon Network traffic going across it from text messages, phone calls, and the login credentials for online banking attempts.
As for the femtocell hack, Verizon says they have resolved that security breech, but iSEC says there exist plenty of other security holes in smartphones. It makes sense given that the popular handheld units lack the sheer capability to take the same security measures that computers can invoke. However, the rapid rise of applications to allow users mobile access from credit card data, stocks, ETFs, and even check depositing makes their comparatively relaxed security an easier target for cyber thieves.
However, what iSEC showed is that any hacker can purchase a femtocell and use it to hack into unsuspecting cell phone users. A basic femtocell retails for $300 making it a poor man's mobile cell phone tower with potential access to a wealth of data. The threat is very real. A potential hacker could roam an airport and collect valuable data from people without their knowledge. Even people taking proper security measures can have their data lifted right from under them. iSEC believes that criminal gangs will soon adopt the femtocell as an affordable means of stealing valuable financial information. They say the lull of consumer's false sense of security only makes the problem worse.
Smartphones becoming prime target for criminal hackers