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Designer smartphone hacks will trickle down in 2022

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What happens to state-sponsored smartphone hacks when they’re uncovered? They get reverse-engineered and enter the cybercrime underworld, of course.

There is no ‘safe’ back door

The inconvenient truth is there is no such thing as a safe back door into smartphone security. Authoritarian governments may force smartphone platform developers to create them, but they make everyone less safe as those exploits will be identified and criminals – who are just as smart as government developers and (sometimes) the same people – will eventually find and exploit them.

Smartphone security isn’t like Harry Potter’s favorite train platform. There is no invisible Platform 9.75 that only government-approved hackers can get to. If a door exists, it will be found. It will be copied. It will be abused.

In 2022, we’re going to see state-sponsored attacks leak into the hacking underworld, and this could lead to a bonfire of security incidents on every platform, experts warn.

WatchGuard says watch out

WatchGuard’s 2022 cybersecurity predictions, and the prospect of state-sponsored attacks such as those used by Israel’s NSO Group leaking into wider abuse, is top of the list.

We know most platform vendors are vigilant against such attacks. Apple most certainly is, judging from its recent commitment to “work tirelessly to protect our users from abusive state-sponsored actors like NSO Group.”

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