Meetup Vulnerabilities: Escalation of Privilege and Redirection of Funds

Cyber Threats Facing APAC – Applications

New and improved fast paced technologies are offering us exciting ways to live, are helping us at work, and continue pushing the boundaries of innovation and efficiency. However, along with all of the good comes the bad – the raised risk and exposure to security threats.

In part one and part two of our three part series on cyber threats facing the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, we established that APAC has the worst record in terms of cyber security, with its countries some of the most vulnerable in the world and the discovery of breaches taking over three times longer than the global average.

 

That being said, the interest and awareness of cyber security starting 2017 is higher than ever following a year filled with some of the world’s biggest hacks, many of which affected APAC tremendously, also proving that cyber attacks can impact any industry, from finance to applications.

With APAC having emerged as the globe’s go-to mobile application core, you can find apps galore for messaging, social networking, games, and more. This heightened demand comes from most of APAC’s countries being mobile-first nations, with smartphones exceeding all other devices used. Additionally, a study recently found that people spend more time in app usage than on the mobile web, which should put it into perspective – the app world is huge.

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Applications under constant cyber attack certainly is nothing new – not only to APAC. And with so many users, the trove of data within each application is on the radars of hackers. And APAC is no stranger to mobile malware affecting some of its’ most popular apps – such as Pokémon Go in Taiwan and Japan – used to breach and expose the personal information of users, along with stealing any forms of currency stored in the app.

 

Mobile malware – a closer look

Cybercriminals are working around the clock seeking new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in mobile apps in order to gain the targeted user data, and malware plays a key part in allowing attackers to access and disrupt apps and devices.

 

Mobile malware can be found lurking behind every unknown click. As seen in May of 2016, where users around APAC were exposed to updates masked as Google updates which actually contained malware capable of snooping on calls and texts, gathering stored data, and accessing various apps.

 

The threat of mobile malware isn’t going anywhere, and a large part of the blame can be placed on insecure app development and failing to follow basic application security protocols. But as the app world continues to grow at a rapid pace, application developers should be ready for the world from the start by placing security in the lead through a secure SDLC and by using the right source code analysis solution to ensure your app will be safe from the threats ahead.

 

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