Top 5 Mobile Device Attacks You Need to Watch Out For

By September 29, 2022 March 29th, 2024 No Comments

Smartphones and tablets are often the preferred device for communications, web searching and accessing many types of apps. Partly because they’re more portable and can be used from anywhere.

For example, Microsoft estimates that up to 80% of the workload in many businesses is now done via mobile devices. And over half of all web searches are also now conducted from a mobile device rather than a desktop PC.

The downside, however, is this has caused mobile devices to become increasingly targeted over the past few years as hackers have been creating mobile malware and other exploits to breach them. Due to the fact that they’re holding many of the same sensitive information and app access as PCs.

In fact, in 2020, approximately 36.5% of companies were impacted by mobile malware. And 2.5 million people unknowingly downloaded multiple mobile adware apps. Which has meant more and more small and medium-sized business are looking to implement IT security solutions that protect not only core IT systems but mobile devices as well.

So, it’s now increasingly important to start treating mobile devices in the same way as you do other computers when it comes to their security. By ensuring you have security protections in place that include:

You also need to be on the lookout for the most prevalent mobile device threats that allow your data to be leaked or breached. And the best way to determine what your own specific business needs are is to carry out a Cyber Security Audit.

So, here’s a quick roundup on what those are right now.


It’s not easy at first glance to tell the difference between a legitimate free app and one that has malware hidden inside.

Scammers will use the same types of flashy graphics and the app may even have a high star rating (most likely boosted through suspicious means in the app store). The app may even do what it says it will do when downloaded.

But the problem is that malware can be hidden in the background. Infecting a device as soon as the app is installed. And many of these apps will hide themselves once on your phone or tablet. Often by using the icon of a common default system app (like settings or calendar).

The unfortunate reality is that mobile malware can include all the same types of malware that can infect a computer. Such as ransomware, adware, spyware, trojans, and more. And you can need to be wise to that.


Have you ever sent someone a password or credit card details over a text message or messaging app? Did you check to see if the communication was encrypted?

As business users are increasingly moving to hybrid and remote working many users will use various methods of communication from their mobile devices. Without really knowing how secure those methods are. If sensitive information is transmitted and it’s not encrypted, then a hacker could easily intercept it. Which leaves the user and your business systems wide open to attack.

TOP TIP – think carefully about the type of information you are communicating over channels that are more open than others.


Public Wi-Fi has long been known to be non-secure. Yet people still insist on using it when it’s available in an effort to save mobile minutes or get a faster connection.

More worryingly 75% of people admit to connecting to email when on public Wi-Fi. Other activities include signing into apps (even sensitive ones like online banking), shopping online and even entering credit card details into websites.

However, if you’re on public Wi-Fi, then you’re at a very high risk of a man-in-the-middle attack. This is when a hacker connects to the same network and looks for victims with unprotected communications. They can then capture any type of data the user is transmitting.

TOP TIP – one way to safely connect to public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN app, which will encrypt your communications.


Another public mobile breach danger is public USB charging stations. These are often welcome sights especially if you’re low on battery power. However, hackers can infect public USB charging ports with malware and set up fake charging stations in public areas.

Then, when you insert your USB cord to charge your device, the malware is copying all the data on your phone and/or infecting it with malicious code. Due to the fact that USB cables aren’t just for charging, they are also used for data transmission.

TOP TIP – it’s best to avoid public USB charging ports and charge with your power adapter that plugs into an outlet instead. You can also buy a “charge-only” USB cord to use if USB charging is your only option.


Approximately 40% of Android devices are running outdated operating systems that no longer get vital security updates.

When your mobile device is not kept updated, then it’s easier for a hacker to use an exploit that takes advantage of a code vulnerability in the OS. Or one of the installed apps.

Many companies aren’t paying attention to how many employees’ work devices are running current operating systems. Which puts their business networks at higher risk of a breach.

TOP TIP – you should ensure that all your apps and your OS are kept updated because many of these updates include critical security patches.


With mobile devices handling so much of the computing workload these days, it’s vital they’re properly protected.

And ideally you want to do that as part of a wider IT security solution for your business. If we can help with that process then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our highly experienced team has extensive experience of protecting small and medium-sized businesses – and that expertise is available to your business right now.



Article used with permission from The Technology Press.