Hackers Attacking PC’s While Still in Factory

September 17, 2012 /

Attacking PCs before they leave the factory has become the first step in new generation of hacktivism, according to consulting firm KPMG.

KPMG raises red flag at recent news stories of PCs being infected with viruses by cyber criminals even before they leave the factory.

More alarmingly, hackers step up targeting of Tablets and Smart-phones, forcing the mobile frontier to change.

Stephen Bonner, partner in KPMG’s Information Protection and Business Resilience team, said: “Today’s news suggesting hackers can access PCs before they’ve even been sold must also call into question the security of mobile devices. As businesses and consumers share private data on Tablets and Smart-phones a new avenue is emerging for hackers to tap into and it is a growing area for fraud.”

Bonner cited a recent case in KPMG’s Fraud Barometer where 340,000 individuals had their personal credit card details stolen from online databases, costing £26.9 million to financial institutions.

“Organisations and their staff have become well-versed in good IT security practice when it comes to PC usage, yet their knowledge is conspicuous by its absence in the world of mobile IT,” Bonner said.

“They may be aware that malware on their phone gives hackers access to confidential data, but the gap between knowing something and acting on it is giving hackers an unnecessary head start,” he added.

“Rather than leave security to chance organisations should reset devices to factory defaults, removing anything from the free ‘bloat-ware’ programmes that come out of the box,” Bonner said.

“The rule of thumb should be ‘if you don’t need it, don’t keep it’ so that you are in control of what is left to run on your device,” he said.

 

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