Print 13 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on May 25 at 1:30 AM

Malware is increasing, and now targeting Mac and Android mobile users

The recently published edition of McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2012 indicates there is now a malware increase on the PC, Mac and mobile devices.

There was an increase in Q1 botnet growth, as McAfee reported almost 5 million injections during the worst spell.  On a bright side, global spam numbers dropped a slight amount, as just over 1 trillion spam messages were recorded at the end of Q1.

"In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected eight million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development," McAfee noted regarding the number of malware problems.  "The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac."

The Q1 number generated by McAfee is a four-year high threat from malware, and could reach 100 million samples by the end of 2012.

PC malware definitely isn't new, but the advancing attack on mobile devices could have major implications for consumers.  Due to the popularity of Apple's iPhone and Google Android-powered devices, criminals will continue to show an interest in these products.    

In addition to smartphones, Android has become increasingly popular on tablet devices -- and users aren't familiar with direct handling of malware on their mobile gadgets.  McAfee saw an increase from 600 Android malware samples in 2011, with that number increasing to nearly 7,000 threats in 2012.

The Google apps store isn't responsible for distributing these apps, while Android infections are shared by third-party vendors.

The SpyEye and Zeus SDKs are two of the leading choices among criminals trying to develop spyware, but there is new effort to find viable alternatives.  Criminals are now finding new SDKs on the black market, and development continues to develop even newer technologies.

Much of the mobile malware that is sent now causes a hijacked phone to text premium SMS services unbeknownst to the cell phone subscriber.  The phone hijacker will receive a commission from each sender, and this typically happens before phone subscribers even realize.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned users about malware problems, and a re-education process is in the works.  Malware will still evolve, but so will the software programs aimed at preventing malware from causing catastrophic issues.

Sources: MarketWatch, AFP

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Linux and malware
By bupkus on 5/24/2012 9:38:35 AM , Rating: 0
I don't seen any reference to malware written targeting the linux platform. I'm sure some people have attempted it but found it a harder target if for no other reason than the type of people who use linux.

RE: Linux and malware
By Helbore on 5/24/2012 9:47:28 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't Android a Linux platform?

If you mean specifically Linux desktop distros, the reason is implicit in the article. It refers to a malware increase on platforms due to their popularity. eg. Android handsets have grown their userbase year-on-year.

Linux desktop OSes remain a tiny fraction of the market and show no signs of significant growth. There's no profit for the criminals to target it.

RE: Linux and malware
By Etsp on 5/24/2012 10:21:48 AM , Rating: 5
It's partly due to loyalty to the platform. Most of these virus writers and exploiters use linux as their primary OS. Not to mention, with linux being open source and usually free, there is no corporate entity "enemy" for the exploiters to focus their ire on. Rather, when they find exploiters find an issue with linux, they'll be at least tempted to report the bug.

The other part of the equation is surface area. Linux using Desktop users are a small minority, even compared to Apple users. It's just not worth their time to go after them.

Sure, lots of servers are running linux, but infecting systems without users there to help is much much harder. Especially since servers are supposed to be more locked down than desktops are.

The only way we would be able to say definitively that linux is the most secure platform of the three would be to have 33% market penetration for each platform at the desktop, and see who gets exploited more.

However, in the current environment, linux desktops are definitely the safest in terms of risk of getting infected.

RE: Linux and malware
By JediJeb on 5/25/2012 1:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
If hardware vendors would write drivers in Linux for everything then you would probably see it gain more market share. Lack of drivers is what pretty much tanked Vista when it first came out, if that can happen to the most popular OS vendor then imagine what it is doing to the little guys. The rest of Linux is very stable, it is usually a hardware driver that causes instability in any Linux setup.

As for malware,there are several pieces of malware listed for Linux. As you said though, popularity is what increases the threat rate on an OS.

RE: Linux and malware
By bupkus on 5/24/2012 2:47:38 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, a question about linux vulnerability and I get the same rating as Pirks.
Kinda trigger happy aren't we.

RE: Linux and malware
By Pirks on 5/24/2012 3:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
I get the same rating as Pirks
And that's a good thing. If you got -1 rating on DT this quite often means you have high IQ.

RE: Linux and malware
By ritualm on 5/24/2012 3:18:08 PM , Rating: 1
1) It's a troll post.
2) There is no incentive to hack Linux - you're dealing with lots of smart folks as opposed to idiots like you.
3) There is no money to gain by compromising systems used by less people than those playing the original Gameboy.
4) see 1).

RE: Linux and malware
By bupkus on 5/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: Linux and malware
By Etsp on 5/24/2012 5:00:25 PM , Rating: 1
I don't need to explain my post to a rude little dick like you.
But, you decided to anyway. How kind of you.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki