767 Per Cent Increase in Mobile Malware Attacks During 2012

Last year was the most significant yet for the deployment and detection of mobile malware, according to Kapersky Lab’s Mobile Malware Evolution report.

At the end of 2012, there were more than 46,000 malicious programs targeting mobile operating systems, while a year earlier, Kapersky identified just 5,300. Around 65 per cent of mobile threats in 2011 targeted the Android platform, by 2012, it was 93 per cent, or 43,000. Less than one per cent are aimed at devices running Symbian, BlackBerry or Java but the report found notable examples of malware specifically targeting bank accounts.

2012 also saw the first malicious program for iOS. The Find and Call app took users address book contacts and sent message urging them to download the app. The focus of cybercriminals has shifted from Russia and China, with a number of major incidents in other countries.

“Cybercriminals are taking mobile devices seriously, because now they typically contain even more private data than traditional PCs. In 2012 we recorded thousands of new malicious programs aimed at stealing information, taking money from mobile and bank accounts and spying on users. Unfortunately, the Android platform has already become quite a dangerous environment that is urgently in need of protection,” said Denis Maslennikov, senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

“The outlook for businesses is also rather grim. Targeted cyberespionage campaigns with a particular interest in mobile data, along with the problem of employees using their own devices to access corporate data all point to the need for companies to deploy an efficient Mobile Device Management system.”