CERT-In has recently released a fresh advisory cautioning against threats to personal mobile phones from “spyware and ransomware”.
The country’s national cybersecurity agency explained by saying this is due to an increased usage of these internet-enabled devices, such as mobile phone, tablets, in the wake of imposed lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
In the fresh advisory issued, CERT-In stated a dozen of suggestions to keep personal mobile phones healthy and secure.
According to the agency, “The current global health situation has seen changes to the way people accomplish their regular job, with an increasing number working from home instead of the office. Cybercriminals are attempting to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now turning their attention to mobile devices to spread malware, including spyware and ransomware.”
According to CERT-In, mobile devices and apps should be secured in order to prevent the sensitive critical data from being compromised, to reduce the risk of spreading viruses, and to mitigate other forms of abuse.
According to the agency, here are a few counter-measures and healthy practices:
- Mobile operating systems like Apple’ ’s iOS, Google’ ’s Android platform and Microsoft ‘’s Windows phone should be regularly updated, to resolve security vulnerabilities. The advisory recommends keeping app software up to date.
- The agency urged individuals to delete apps they don’t use. Avoid downloading unknown apps; individuals should limit their download sources to official app stores.
- Individuals need to be cautious with signing into apps with social network accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
- The agency has asked individuals to watch out for scams and phishing attempts on your phone, either by SMS or email. And individuals should always password-protect their apps as well as update them regularly.
- Public Wi-Fi networks present an opportunity for cyber criminals to intercept sensitive information; one needs to be careful while using it. Also, people should avoid jailbreaking or tampering with mobile device factory security settings as it makes the phone more susceptible to attacks.
- Also, individuals should be cautious while charging their phone and avoid connecting it to any computer or charging station and avoid using software running on that computer to interact with the phone in ways you may not anticipate.