FBI issues confusing warning to smartphone users

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) issued an “Intelligence Note” last Friday warning smartphone users of malware targeting mobile devices.

The IC3 specifically named Loozfon, an information-stealing piece of malware, and FinFisher, a spyware capable of taking over the components of a mobile device, allowing for remote control and monitoring no matter where the device is located. Both Loozfon and FinFisher can get onto a device when a user visits a specific link.

The wording of the IC3 statement is a little confusing. The title directs the warning at smartphone users but the body of the message indicates that the malware in question exploits “Android operating system for mobile devices.” According to security solutions provider Symantec, Loozfon does indeed target Android devices, but as TNW reported, versions of FinFisher are able to exploit iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices, none of which are mentioned in the warning.

Most confusing is the timing of the IC3 issued warning, as it doesn’t follow any spike in malware activity that we’re aware of at this time.

However, the IC3 did also include in the statement a useful list of 13 tips to help users keep their mobile devices safe. We recommend you read it here.