Sophos Updates Mobile Security App for Android

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Sophos recently introduced the latest version of its Sophos Mobile Security app for Android devices, which adds a spam filter for text messages and phone calls.

The filter, which scans every incoming call and text message, can be used to block specific phone numbers, calls with a hidden caller ID, and text messages with potentially malicious URLs. Blocked calls and messages are logged in a Quarantine folder, from which they can be restored if necessary.

"Even with legal crackdown on mobile spammers, SMS spam and SMiShing continue to grow at a rapid pace, as there are billions of mobile phone subscribers who use text messaging," Sophos' Thomas Lippert said in a statement. "And more spam means greater annoyance and risk to consumers, as many people trust messages that come directly to their phones or don’t necessarily think about what links they’re actually clicking."

According to Sophos, the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection has found that approximately 60 percent of mobile phone users have received at least one spam text message in the past year, and about 15 percent clicked on the link in the message.

"Gone are the days when hackers merely distributed malware via app stores; these days, consumers are seeing growth in text spam and malicious URLs sent directly to their phones," Chris Hazelton, research director, Mobile & Wireless for 451 Research, said in a statement. "And this growth makes mobile security offerings that filter out the noise of unwanted messages all the more important, especially as smartphones are increasingly the primary device for everyday use."