Exposure of smartphone security risk demonstrates a worrying trend

Cybersecurity firm Check Point recently exposed a serious vulnerability in smartphones using the android mobile operating system which would allow a hacker full access to an individual’s emails with one simple text. *

Android is the most popular operating system globally with the research identifying that 1 billion smartphones were vulnerable to a cyber attack via a text message that could not be differentiated from an authentic message from the network operator.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “The finding demonstrates a worrying trend of businesses only realising lax cybersecurity when it is exposed by a third party. This indicates that implementing robust preventative measures, and regularly reviewing cybersecurity, is still not top of the agenda – as it should be – for far too many organisations

“As most of us are now heavily reliant on our mobile phones for work and personal purposes, it is disconcerting that it has taken an independent third party to expose the lack of cybersecurity on such a significant number of smartphones.

“It is extremely worrying that such a serious failure in robust cybersecurity was not identified and prevented by the network operators themselves.

“The consequences to an individual of a hacker gaining full access to the emails on their phone can be far reaching. With many using their smartphones for both business and pleasure, a cyber attack could potentially cause significant harm – both to the individual and their employer.

“It is quite shocking to consider the ramifications of a hacker having full access to a wealth of private data contained within emails. Offline, this would be equivalent to giving a burglar the keys to someone’s house allowing them to open all their personal post dating back potentially years.

“The financial and psychological impact of a malicious attack, made so easy by network operators in this instance, can result in serious consequences such as identity theft, financial fraud and more.

“What this news also reveals, sadly, is that cybersecurity is still not being taken seriously enough by businesses. The high sales and heavy usage mobile phone sector should arguably be proactively leading the way in cybersecurity.”

The news revealed that the smartphones affected are Samsung S9, Huawei Pro, LG G6 and Sony Xperia with reports confirming that both Samsung and LG have since introduced a fix.

Hayes Connor Solicitors was recently appointed as data protection supplier to the Communication Workers Union. The firm is currently acting for thousands of customers with data breach action against Ticketmaster, Equifax, Marriott International, TeamSport, Dixons Carphone and the Police Federation of England and Wales.

*https://bit.ly/2lLGOKX