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Smartphones under attack in 2007

McAfee predicts spike in phone crime

McAfee predicts that 2007 will be the year when online criminals truly begin aiming their work at smartphones. McAfee's Sage journal - a round-up of the company's ongoing security research - says this is because increasing numbers of PC-like handheld devices are finding their way into the hands of an increasing number of enterprise users.

Among the mobile device threats McAfee's security experts expect to arrive first are phishing attacks, spyware and other programs aimed at stealing data for the purpose of committing identity fraud.

Mobile spam also has the potential to "explode" as authors of Trojan attacks begin to target smartphones, McAfee said.

VoIP systems will also see an increasing volume of threats, the report said, with Spit (spam over Internet Telephony) helping to create new opportunities for hackers to market the data they gather to telemarketers.

Another emerging attack format will be threats delivered via spoofed VoIP accounts, much as malware writers and spammers have distributed their work over email and the web, according to the McAfee report.

The increased adoption of RFID technologies will also pose new security risks, said Dave Marcus, security research manager with Avert Labs.He predicted that many current RFID devices vulnerable to eavesdropping, recording, cloning and forgery. McAfee said that RFID readers could also contain vulnerabilities that might allow chips loaded with exploits to steal information from the back-end systems to which the readers are linked.

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