Protecting mobile phone data against malicious apps, Today Online

This commentary is part of a series in TODAY’s Science section, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Computing, that explores computer science research projects conducted here.
As mobile phones are increasingly used for a wide range of services beyond phone calls, such as banking and health data storage, hackers are seeking new ways to exploit the data in mobile devices. The decentralised access control in the cloud-based applications and malware on mobile devices have made data protection in the cloud/mobile environment a daunting task.
Attacks can come in a variety of ways: SMS, WhatsApp, or email, luring the user to open a link that will install malware. Once the user clicks on the link, the malware app will be installed in the mobile phone, intercepting and stealing personal data, such as SMS messages, emails, and contact information. On a “rooted” Android device, which has been modified by users to gain more privilege, malware apps can intercept all data and user behaviour on the device.

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