Beware of Malware: Mobile Threats Increase by 614 Percent in Last Year
June 26, 2013 8:50 AM
comment(s) - last by
About 92 percent of malware is directed at Android
Keep a closer eye on your smartphones:
skyrocketed 614 percent over the past year.
According to Juniper Networks' annual Mobile Threat Report, mobile malware grew by 614 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. This equates to 276,259 troublesome apps and vulnerabilities.
The study took a look at about 1.85 million total apps and vulnerabilities in that period of time. This 614 percent was a huge hike from the mobile malware increase of only 155 percent from March 2011 to March 2012.
About 48 percent of the malware came from SMS trojans, which get users to send text messages to numbers ran by cyber thieves. Another 29 percent came from fake installs, the remaining 19 percent came from Trojan Spy malware.
There were fake versions of apps that proved to be malicious, and the top imitators were of Angry Birds, Adobe Flash, Google Play and Skype.
"There's no doubt mobility will continue to be a pervasive and disruptive force across every industry," said Troy Vennon, Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center director. "We have found that it has created an easy business opportunity for malware developers who are becoming savvy in their approach to quickly turn profits in a rapidly growing market. We anticipate that similar to the evolution of PC-based threats, mobile attacks will continue to increase and become more sophisticated in the coming years."
Juniper Networks added that
Android users are the main target
of mobile malware, mainly because Android makes up about 60 percent of the smartphone market globally. In fact, the new report says that 92 percent of malware found was directed at Android devices.
Another reason that Android is a prime target is because users rarely update to the latest software versions of the OS, meaning that they're not receiving the latest security updates from Google.
Want to stay safe out there? Run software updates on your phones and avoid buying apps from unknown app stores. The same goes for users on any other platform; not just Android.
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RE: not so
6/26/2013 11:30:07 AM
The majority of Android malware is not coming from the official app store. The "problem" is mostly that you can install whatever you want on Android. If you're willing to give up that possibility (the Android default, and your only option on other mobile platforms), the amount of potential malware goes down significantly.
Of course, not blindly trusting random programs you find on the internet will have a similar effect.
RE: not so
6/26/2013 3:52:46 PM
Yeah, it isn't the OS or the vulnerabilities, its the system.
Remove the ability to install apps that haven't been vetted or that don't come from whitelisted sources, let users take back control over OS updates from the carriers, and malware isn't a problem anymore.
RE: not so
6/27/2013 10:42:03 AM
I'm definitely with you on the OS updates. They should come straight from the OS maker. You should have full details as to what individual updates do and you should have the choice of which updates to install, rather than just be given a single package that may address security vulnerabilities while also in an unrelated gesture add unnecessary "features"/remove desirable functionality that you'd really rather not have modified.
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