Android is an increasingly popular target for malware and SMiShing (SMS phishing). To help combat this growing threat, Sophos has introduced the latest version of its free Android security app, Sophos Mobile Security.
It now includes SPAM filter capabilities for text messages and calls. The filter rules can block specific phone numbers and calls with a hidden caller ID, as well as text messages with potential malicious URLs.
Every incoming call or text message is scanned by the app’s spam protection feature and the active filter rules are applied successively. Blocked calls and text messages are logged in the quarantine folder, where they can be restored as needed.
Sending unsolicited commercial text messages is illegal under civil law and anyone who receives a spam text message should neither click on a link nor reply to a message. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, about 60 percent of mobile phone users have received at least one or more spam text messages during the past year, with about 15 percent clicking on the link included in the message.
“People trust their personal devices, but security requires vigilance,” said Chris Hazelton, research director, Mobile & Wireless for 451 Research. “Gone are the days when hackers merely distributed malware via app stores; these days, consumers are seeing growth in text spam and malicious URLs sent directly to their phones. And this growth makes mobile security offerings that filter out the noise of unwanted messages all the more important, especially as smartphones are increasingly the primary device for everyday use.”
“Even with legal crackdown on mobile spammers, SMS spam and SMiShing continue to grow at a rapid pace, as there are billions of mobile phone subscribers who use text messaging. And more spam means greater annoyance and risk to consumers, as many people trust messages that come directly to their phones or don’t necessarily think about what links they’re actually clicking,” said Thomas Lippert, product management, Sophos. “The latest version of Sophos Mobile Security allows users to easily prevent the onset of SMiShing.”
Sophos Mobile Security is offered for free in its stand-alone version at Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sophos.smsec. Additionally, Sophos Mobile Security integrates into the company’s flagship mobile device management and security solution, Sophos Mobile Control, providing full administrator management and compliance enforcement.