Understanding the Vulnerabilities of a Smartphone

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“They have an app for that” is the mantra of most smartphone users, but an improperly configured smartphone can be an open invitation to hackers looking for easy information. Today’s modern smartphone can do anything from controlling your home computer to handling your online banking to watching TV to making video calls. With all the features included in them, they are very easy to stockpile important (and sometimes sensitive) information about the user. Since smartphones are essentially tiny computers, they suffer the same vulnerabilities of PC’s, including viruses, malicious applications, and hacking. If there is the tiniest flaw in the smartphone’s armor, hackers can gain access and take an enormous amount of data from it.

With the rise in popularity of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology embedded into smartphones, it has gained the attention of hackers out to gather information as another way to get into a system. Bluetooth technology is a very small area networking device, meaning that it can communicate wirelessly to other Bluetooth devices in the vicinity of 25-30 feet. But that also means that any hacker with that same technology can gain entry into a smartphone and wreak havoc that way. Any information stored on that phone is now available to them to take and do with as they please. The only disadvantage to a hacker using Bluetooth is that they have to be within range, so they typically target large crowds of people if they are going to use that transmission medium to gather information. Embedding Wi-Fi into smartphones is another way for hackers to gain access to information easily. If a smartphone has Wi-Fi enabled, it means that it can connect to a number of access points or “hotspots” to access the internet, just like a PC would. Alternatively, this also means that it opens it up so that a hacker looking for information can access that smartphone though a computer with more ease than going through Bluetooth. Once a hacker has linked up to a smartphone...
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