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Ads bigger security threat to cellphones than porn

Researchers claim that mobile phone advertisements have overtaken pornography as the biggest threat to phone security

London: Malware pushed through advertisements, known as malvertising, leaves mobile users vulnerable to security breaches and has now overtaken porn as the biggest threat to phone security.

Cellphone ads bigger threat than porn
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Researchers claimed that in February, one in every five times a mobile internet user was directed to malware through web adverts. The number is thrice in comparison to November 2012. Malwares harvest user data, copy, store passwords and credit card information, and infect devices with viruses. The threats targeting mobile devices remain fairly basic — largely confined to potentially unwanted applications and premium SMS scams.

Potentially unwanted applications or PUAs, are simply apps, usually disguised as something interesting like the hottest mobile game, that engage in tracking user behaviour or otherwise sharing personal information.

Among the type of data that is tracked are User-Agent strings, which identify the mobile operating system, its version, the type of installed browser and version, and (depending on the app) additional information about the mobile app the user is running. In addition, HTTP traffic generated by the mobile device’s browser or by mobile advertising services may reveal the mobile device user’s habits, interests, or searches.

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