Mobile malware attacks doubled last year

Tech Blog
IT Support
March 6, 2019

In a recent report conducted by Kaspersky Lab, they discovered that the number of mobile malware attacks doubled in 2018. Kaspersky Lab says that smartphones are facing more security threats than ever before, with statistics reaching a new high last year. In 2017, the number of mobile malware attacks was at 66.4 million, compared to 116.5 million in 2018. The report also found that 774,000 mobile users were affected by mobile-specific malware in 2017, compared to 9,895,774 in 2018.

Although, Kaspersky Lab did also add that the organisation has protected 80,638 users in 150 countries against mobile ransomware during 2018, resulting in 60,176 mobile ransomware Trojans samples detected. The security expert at Kaspersky Lab, Victor Chebyshev, said that "In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen,"

"Over the course of the year, we observed both new mobile device infection techniques, such as DNS hijacking, along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam. This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones - to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source."

Mobile organisation, Ericsson, predicts that there will be over 6 billion smartphone users worldwide by 2020. The University of Cambridge found that 87 percent of all Android smartphones are exposed to at least one critical vulnerability. Zimperium Labs in 2018 discovered that 95 percent of Android devices could be hacked with a simple text message. But it is not just Android smartphones that are being increasingly affected, in September 2018, 40 apps were pulled from the official App Store because they were infected with XcodeGhost, a form of malware designed to turn Apple devices into a large-scale botnet.

Here are the top types of mobile malware according to Kaspersky Lab:

  • Banking Malware.
  • Mobile Ransomware.
  • Mobile Spyware.
  • MMS Malware.
  • Mobile Adware.
  • SMS Trojans.

With all of this information surrounding increased mobile malware attacks, we are surely all thinking of the best ways to protect our mobile devices from said attacks. So, here are the best ways to protect your device according to Kaspersky Lab:

  • Use secure Wi-Fi.
  • Watch your email.
  • Be consistent.
  • Install antivirus protection.
  • Don't jailbreak or root your device.

It is a well-known concern that cyber attacks are constantly on the rise, especially due to our increased dependence on technology whether it's for personal or work use. But we are used to cyber attacks being mostly focused on our PCs, not our precious smartphones. So, making sure you are doing everything possible to keep your smartphone secure and safe is the best thing you can do.

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