Symantec:Targeted Cyber Attacks Set to Grow in 2011

One in three data breaches last year involved a mobile phone, according to security vendor Symantec's latest Internet Security Threat Report for 2010, released today.

However, the proportion of data breaches involving mobile devices fell by one percentage point, from 37 per cent in 2009 to 36 per cent in 2010.

Symantec security strategist Sian John said, "The introduction of tablets last year can be seen as disruptive. People tend to put a lot more sensitive information on them, and this means they're an increased target.

"A lot of firms are worried about taking mobile devices [onto their networks] because they can't adequately manage the security risks posed by these devices."

But he added that the biggest problem is still people leaving devices in the back of taxis or at the airport.

As mobile use rises, so does the number of flaws found in mobile device operating systems. Last year Symantec documented 163 operating system flaws compared with 115 in 2009.

"Most of what we're seeing are trojan apps. These apps are posing as legitimate apps but they're actually something else... Most of these apps have come off third-party app marketplaces. The more apps that are available the harder it gets to check properly," said John.

"When these apps are installed they ask for a lot more personal information about users than you would normally expect."

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