Skycure collects data lakes of threat intelligence about the multiple layers of mobility, including device-level, app-level and network-level intelligence, which is beyond the reach of traditional mobile security tools.

Types of Attacks

The most frequent threat that we identified at the Top 15 Danger Destinations was a WiFi-based attack called SSL decryption, which allows cyber criminals to capture personal and work information (such as mobile banking logins/passwords and corporate credentials). SSL Stripping was the other common attack that allows attackers to downgrade HTTPS URLs to non-secure HTTP URLs. These attacks are generally hard for users to detect as the attackers keep them believing that her or his session is secure.

iOS vs. Android

In a separate analysis that reviewed worldwide Skycure Threat Intelligence data, researchers found that on average, mobile devices are more than 25% likely to expose personal and corporate data to a network attack on a monthly basis. The research also found that while iOS devices/users connect to many more WiFi network access points (probably because of automated hotspot connections, usability and being used more often in work environments than Android devices), Android devices/users connect to more malicious ones. This was a little surprising to us as well and we have a few theories on why that might be the case:

  1. User Behavior: Android users are generally more tech-savvy and their comfort level to connect to “never-seen-before” networks is a bit higher than iOS users.
  2. Data Plans: Android users tend to choose from a greater range of carrier plans that are more economical but may have smaller data limits. Not wanting to incur fees for going over their data plans, Android users may be more likely to voluntarily connect to “Free” WiFi hotspots.

The study found that a massive 8% of the total reported threats originated from a WiFi network with “Free” in its name.

Safety Tips for Travelers: Here are a few quick tips for mobile users traveling to high-risk destinations:

  1. Avoid “Free WiFi” networks.
  2. Update your device to the most current operating system.
  3. Read the warnings on your device and don’t click “Continue” if you don’t understand the exposure.
  4. Disconnect from the network if your phone behaves strangely (e.g. frequent crashes) or you receive a warning notification.
  5. Protect your device with a mobile security app like Skycure.