Global Smartphone Malware Jumps 98% Over Six Months

Global Smartphone Malware Jumps 98% Over Six Months

Global smartphone infections increased by nearly 100% in the first six months of the year compared to the second half of 2015, with Android once again the most targeted OS, according to the latest stats from Nokia.

The Finnish mobile phone firm analyzed data from its NetGuard Endpoint Security product, deployed on more than 100 million devices globally, to produce the Nokia Threat Intelligence Report – H1 2016.

The smartphone infection rate jumped 98% since H2 2015 to reach 0.49% of all devices, although it peaked at over 1% in April, the report claimed.

Unsurprisingly, smartphones accounted for the vast majority (78%) of mobile device infections. Some 22% were related to Windows/PC systems connecting through tethered phones or dongles.

Android devices accounted for 74% of infections, versus Windows/PC (22%) and just 4% for iOS.

Mobile games continue to be a major threat vector, appearing in third party app stores within hours of their official release, the report claimed.

Pokemon Go has been a particularly popular target for cyber-criminals given its huge appeal worldwide. One such sample, which appeared almost identical to the original, actually contained remote access Trojan “DroidJack” – allowing the black hats to steal info and monitor victim devices.

Users can help themselves here by being suspicious of apps which seem to ask for more permissions than they should need.

The malware itself is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with various new samples featuring functionality to root the victim’s device to make it “difficult to detect and uninstall, as well as leverage additional privileges and access,” Nokia claimed.

Elsewhere, the report revealed a 1% increase in residential fixed broadband infections to 12% over the period.

Also, Nokia warned of an uptick in DNS DDoS attacks using mobile network devices to reflect and amplify attacks. Mobile operators would do well to raise their awareness of this burgeoning trend, the report said.

Source: Information Security Magazine