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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

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Come on!
By Pirks on 5/24/2012 12:55:36 PM , Rating: -1
Where's my freakin iOS botnet??! I WANNA MY EFFIN IOS BOTNET! WTF is going on here? Where are you lazy malware writers? You have this puny arrogant Apple against you, and everyone on DT knows iOS or whatever Apple makes is choke-full of security holes! Right guys? Amirite huh? ;)

Sooo where the eff is this effin botnet? Why is it not here yet with such humongous number of iOS users? No botnets, no mass infections - this smells very fishy to me. Something is wrong here.

RE: Come on!
By Etsp on 5/24/2012 4:59:02 PM , Rating: 3
From what I can recall offhand, there HAVE BEEN iOS botnets. It's just that the affected phones were rooted and had sideloaded apps.

You're not likely to get an infection through the app store's vetting process.

An analogy would be that apps through the app store are like receiving visitors in a prison. (You being the prisoner) They get pat-downs, checked over, and thoroughly watched before they can get in. They can't bring most things with them for you to use. They can't do you any favors while there, because you cannot give them permission to do so. How you interact with them is completely restricted, and you do not get to choose who visits. The prison has to approve it. However, given all of that security, it's highly unlikely that you're going to be injured by the visitor.

On the other hand,applications on PCs like Windows and Macs are more akin to shopping at the grocery store. You pick the ingredients you want, and can try to use them however you want. There is occasionally tainted or expired food, some you wouldn't be able to detect, but usually there are obvious signs that what you're picking out isn't going to treat you well after dinner...

RE: Come on!
By Pirks on 5/24/2012 6:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's just that the affected phones were rooted and had sideloaded apps
I'm not interested in a tiny geeky minority, this is why I asked about mass infections. Something on the scale of Confiker.

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