Payments for online sales and bill-paying are increasingly made through smartphones and tablets, SeekingAlpha.com reports. But as more mobile wallets are developed with prepaid ACH cards and credit cards attached to phones and other devices, the likelihood of cyber threats to device users is mounting as well.
According to security management firm Watchguard Technologies, an emerging cyber threat that businesses and consumers need to watch for in the coming year is the increased incidence of mobile malware, which could allow hackers to divert money from payments made on devices. "2012 was an eye-opening year in cyber security as we saw the number of new and more sophisticated vulnerabilities rise, impacting individuals, businesses and governments," stated Corey Nachreiner, WatchGuard's director of security strategy. The company contends that Androids are being targeted more than any other type of device because of the openness of the platform. Among its other security predictions for 2013, WatchGuard stated that virtual machines are likely to be hacked more frequently by malware and browsers rather than computer operating systems will be targeted through plug-ins or browser extensions.