Lost smartphones mined for information

2012-03-13 10:11
San Francisco - Lost smartphones are likely to be mined for valuable information by strangers who find them, according to the results of a sting operation conducted by computer security firm Symantec.

Symantec intentionally "lost" 50 smartphones at shopping centres, bus stops and other public places in cities in the US and Canada and then monitored activity on devices by using embedded software.

The feedback showed "a very high likelihood of attempts to access both sensitive personal and business-related information will be made if a lost and unprotected smartphone is found by a stranger".

The results of "Smartphone Honey Stick Project" released on Monday also showed that owners of lost smartphones shouldn't count on finders to try to contact them.

Half of the people who found the smartphones reached out to return them to owners, but applications promising to hold personal information including online banking were accessed in 89% of the cases, according to Symantec.

Work-related files with labels such as "human resources cases" were dipped into on 83% of the found phones. Overall, personal or business files were tapped into on 96% of the smartphones.

Symantec advised smartphone owners to lock screens with tough passwords and keep handsets close while out and about.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    symantec  |  mobile

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

VIDEO: 5 scintillating RWC tries from the weekend
World Cup 'curse' talk annoys Cameron
Meyer taking no chances
Butch happy with ‘best possible’ Bok side
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.