Sign of the times
As more companies, governments and consumers use wireless gadgets to conduct commerce and share private information, computer bad guys are beginning to target them, according to government officials and security researchers.
"Mobile phones are a huge source of vulnerability," said Gordon Snow, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cyber Division. "We are definitely seeing an increase in criminal activity."
The FBI's Cyber Division recently began working on a number of cases based on tips about malicious programs in app stores, Mr. Snow said. The cases involve apps designed to compromise banking on cellphones, as well as mobile "malware" used for espionage by foreign nations, said a person familiar with the matter. To protect its own operations, the FBI bars its employees from downloading apps on FBI-issued smartphones.