The world population reached the mark of 7 Billion on October 31st, 2011, according to United Nations. And the current population of the world as of September, 2016 is estimated as 7.5 Billion. There are around 4.6 billion mobile phone users at present. It is a forecast that by the year 2017, there will be 4.77 Billion Mobile Phone Users (around 63 percent of the total population). There is also a forecast that by 2019 this number will cross the 5 Billion mark. Among these mobile users, it is estimated that the number for smartphone users will reach 2.08 Billion this year. With smartphone penetration rate increasing, it is a forecast that this number will reach 2.5 billion in year 2019.
You all must be thinking why I am providing you with these statistics about Mobile Phone Users. Well, the answer is simple. As always I am here again to show you a picture of the Future. OUR FUTURE WITH SMARTPHONES. Or to be more précised I am preparing you for the “Future Impacts These Smartphones Can Have On Our Lives”.
You all must be aware of the term “CYBER-CRIME” and the latest form of cyber-crime in mobiles named as “RANSOMWARE”. And the most widely affected users are the Android users. What could be more grave than RANSOMWARE! Your files are getting encrypted or all the applications have stopped working or your phone operating system has stopped working. Once the device is infected, the user has only two options. Either guess the required password to unlock the device (which is unlikely) or to pay the demand ransom (which does not guarantee the device will be unlocked). If the user does not want to pay the ransom, they are left with the “last chance” option of restoring the device and losing all of the data. The best case is that some or all of the data has been backed up and can be restored. As if that was not enough, you cannot disregard that the attacker (at the start of the infection) had full access to the device and all of its contents. Information cannot only be deleted, but also given to third parties.
What if I say that RANSOMWARE is not the gravest thing yet!
As we all know that mobile applications have been the best invention in the domain of smartphones. Due to which all the things are just a click away from us. Like SOS alerts to family members in emergency situations, paying bills, having meetings even when not in the office, health monitoring, ordering foods, entertainment, etc. and etc. And what not. You think a task of daily life and you have an app to manage it. We even have apps to manage the electrical appliances at our home. In short we have got all our daily tasks management and controlling on our smartphones.
Future Look of Mobile Cybercrime:
Picture you are in 2025. You have all the high-tech things, which we all are generally expecting to be there in 2025. Automated cars, automated home electrical appliances, automatic car charging at charging stations, automatic payments at the shops or fuel stations, automated locking systems at home and much more like that. And you have mobile apps for controlling the working of all this and/or just one app for controlling the working of all other apps.
Now, let me acquaint you with the gravest things that can happen in the future because of all the technological developments, for which we all are waiting anxiously:
- After a hectic long day at office and working for 12 continuous hours, you decide to relax during the ride back home. So, through the app you put your car in full autonomous mode and collect a sandwich from the café and proceed towards your home. While you are relaxing, something awry happens. Your car crosses the speed limits and you are taken to a wrong way. Onto a bridge near the city. While you are trying to get the control but are unable to. The car bangs into the side wall of the bridge. And you with your car fall into the river below.
- We all are expecting the automated home appliances and automated door and window locking systems. The former would have apps with the feature for time setting as to when the appliances get switched on or off or at which temperature they should operate. And the app for later having the child lock feature. Imagine a winter night. And you are sleeping in your blanket in your room. It’s all very cozy and perfect heating is there in the room. Suddenly the temperature gets way to high. You try to lower it through remote and android app. It doesn’t take the command, instead it gets more high and environment gets very hot. You run to open the window and door but even they don’t open up and don’t take the command of android app. In app you see the child lock feature is enabled and you try to disable it but you are unable to do so.
- We are moving towards cashless purchase system e.g. credit and debit card payment system. In future it may happen the payments will be done by giving our mobile numbers. And some very smart hackers have made a malicious change in payment software and it copies all your personal bank details. And when you get up in the morning you get a message of transaction of $50,000 or more.
Having Goosebumps! I was pretty much in the same situation when this thought occurred to me. You would be thinking that if there would be one such case then the people can get aware and delete all apps and do all things manually till a Security software is made against it.
Then I would like to quote you the example of first digital weapon “STUXNET” of which we all are very much aware. And there are many such viruses which decide their target audience through many ways. And they don’t affect the other systems in which they enter through some ways.
So, the above pointed out scenarios could be such that it could happen to some specific person. May be it happen that one case happens with someone and even before we calculate the possible ways in which it could hit us, we are victimized.
Cybersecurity is more widely appreciated than ever as rising numbers of people depend on mobile communications to conduct tasks that involve their personal information and daily activities. Highly publicized cyberattacks by terrorists and criminals around the world have raised awareness of the need for strong protections to ensure data security and privacy.
If we look into the future cyber-attacks, then I think that Smartphones will become the gateway for the cybercrimes. The gravity of these cybercrimes will be much greater than the present. It may cost you your Life.