I just finished mentioning how some hackers (meaning the bad ones) had moved on from guts and glory to renting out their talents for profit. Now it seems the same bad guys have moved even further, from hitting the wired world to beating up on the wireless one.
InternetWeek just reported that “cyber-crooks” are cranking up efforts to defraud mobile phone subscribers, who by the way, are a perfect target.
Why? Because a mobile phone, unlike grandma’s Windows 98 machine, has a built in billing system, that’s why.
The above article noted that the Mosquito game, built for Symbian OS powered mobile phones, was “secretly sending messages to expensive toll numbers, billing the user and creating another revenue stream for the game’s maker.”
Like many other fraudsters who come and go with the wind, these mobile hackers are going to having billing cycles to act a cushions – customers won’t know they have been victimized, some until up to 30 days after the crime has been committed. That is more than enough time for a crook to move on to new territory. Billing systems similar to “unusual activity monitors” used by credit card companies, are likely going to be the next items on carriers’ shopping lists.