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Hacking: Not if, but when...

04 Apr 2014

Some things in life are pretty much nailed on. You pay taxes, you die and you watch the All Blacks smash the Wallabies.

But in a world that for many appears universally out of reach, the constant rule of thumb is that majority rules.

This being the world of the hacker of course. A world which migrated into our lives long ago yet never quite caught our attention - and probably still doesn’t.

Forever searching markets with the deepest pool of users and subsequently, the maximum point of impact, notions of ‘it won’t happen to me’ are becoming as outdated as the security software, or lack of, ‘protecting’ your devices.

Remember that old saying? Apple doesn’t get viruses.

Well cough, cough, turns out they do.

“Attackers attack the majority,” says Tim Falinski, Director, Consumer ANZ, Trend Micro, offering as succinct an explanation as one could ask for.

“It’s common sense to want to attack the largest scope of users, which is why Apple is a target - given how big a chunk of the marketplace they cover.”

Acknowledging that the same can be said for Android devices, on both smartphones and tablets, Falinksi is clear in his message that hackers are swayed by mass markets.

“The reality is that because of the huge array of devices available, attackers can write a malicious app and steal user identities relatively easy,” he says.

“The pure size of the market ensures a healthy return and that’s what matters to cyber criminals.”

Yawn, just another scaremongering piece of security fodder you may say, but don’t let hard facts get in the way of a good security breach.

With PC shipments decreasing and mobile device sales soaring, 2013 saw a sizeable increase in volume, intensity and sophistication of mobile threats.

About 60 percent of Kiwis own smartphones and use them to access everything from Facebook to their bank accounts.

Now consider what personal information is stored and accessed via your mobile – contacts, photos, email, banking details, your identification ­– and the risk posed to your personal security if left unprotected.

“Mobile is now the attack device of choice,” adds Falinksi, reminding users that security is more than a four digit pin in your phone.

Fresh from launching a new range of mobile security solutions, the importance of securing your device has significantly shifted from the problem of tomorrow to the pressing issue of today.

But hey, if the ‘it won’t happen to me’ line of thinking works for you then great, because one thing is for sure, it always works for the hacker lurking underneath your screen - waiting to pounce.