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Smartphone users gullible to malware apps

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BENGALURU: A talk on the security concerns of a layman smartphone user was held at the Social Science Festival by the Bangalore Science Forum at DR HN Multimedia Hall on February 22, 2017. Dr Raghu Hudli, Managing Director, ObjectOrb Technologies Bengaluru, spoke on how important it is to secure smartphones as it is highly gullible to malware and hackers.

The session addressed how smartphone users are gullible to links passed on through Whatsapp forward messages and emphasised the importance of downloading applications only from authorised sources in order to avoid compromising the security of the smartphone.

“Apps must be downloaded only from Google play store or the Apple store, in the case of iPhones. Unauthorised links or apps are used by hackers in order to break into phones and steal personal information,” said Dr Hudli, who also mentioned that android phones are more vulnerable than iPhones.

The session highlighted on two ‘security hole’s’ or malware apps that can access every information on the smartphone. ‘Stagefright’ is a malware that can access pictures from a phone as well as the microphone even when the phone is not in use. ‘Heartbleed’ is another malware which attacks older versions of the android phone.

The speaker stressed that it is not only important to secure the phone with strong passwords, but it is also important to use an app lock for sensitive applications. “Screen lock timeouts must be ensured. In the case of fingerprint lock, it is only a means of authentication, but if there are loopholes it can be cracked,” said Dr Hubli. He also added that using an anti-theft software can help to remotely erase the contents of the phone if it has been stolen.


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