Hacking warning for smartphone users

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 January, 2013, 5:57pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 January, 2013, 6:23pm

People using Android-powered smartphones are at higher risk of exposure to hackers, says a computer safety group.

Users are warned against downloading apps from unofficial sources after a record number of software loopholes were identified last year, according to the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Co-ordination Centre, which is managed by the Productivity Council.

The centre issued a record high 429 security alerts last year, in response to warnings by software and system designers.

It also received 1,050 reports of computer security incidents, the highest since 2007.

There were 426 hacking cases reported, the highest since 2004.

Leung Siu-cheong, a senior consultant at the centre, said among all major smartphone providers, Android had a rather hacker-friendly app store. It allows all users to put up apps for downloading.

E-criminals often “jailbreak” authentic applications and provide them free – or package funny games or useful applications – with viruses.

Leung said people should keep track of the latest software warnings and download available patches immediately.