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Big increase in mobile malware threats

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Apr 18, 2013.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    There’s been a huge increase in the amount of malicious software designed to secretly access mobile phones and tablets according to global mobile internet computer security company NQ Mobile.

    The firm's latest security report shows threats increased 163% to more than 65,000 in 2012, with 95% of incidents targeting Google's Android operating system.

    According to the report the top three tactics include taking a genuine application and adding malicious code known as repackaging, taking advantage of hard to see or hidden website addresses (URLs) to redirect users to malicious sites, and sending SMS messages which encourage users to open bad links also known as “smishing”.

    The company says these techniques helped to infect an estimated 32.8 million Android devices in 2012, an increase of over 200% percent from 2011.

    The problem is also becoming more complex, according to the report, with smarter malicious software being created, with 10 million devices being infected in the first quarter of 2013.*

    A new type of malicious software was also identified in February, which can jump from an Android device to infect a laptop or desktop computer when connected via the USB port.

    Increased collaboration between mobile hackers and cyber criminals was another issue identified in the research.

    According to the report, malicious software is being used by mobile hackers to get users private information and they are then selling this data on to cyber criminals who make use of it to gain access to the users bank accounts and other finances.*

    28% of the malicious software for mobile devices identified by the researchers in 2012 was designed to collect and profit from a user’s personal data.

    The increase in the number of threats is especially concerning as research carried out for Knowthenet found 43% of users don’t have security measures such as anti-virus software, remote wipe or the latest operating system in place, leaving them vulnerable to a wide range of threats.

    One way of checking your level of risk is to take our free mobile security test which also gives advice on other ways to protect your device.

    Here are some other tips to keep your device secure:

    •*Avoid keeping important or sensitive data on your smartphone or tablet.
    •*Try to avoid doing financial transactions or entering passwords on public WiFi.
    •*Download and enable an antivirus app for your phone – be sure to check reviews and search for information about the developer first to make sure it’s safe.
    •*Make sure your phone is running the latest version of the operating system.
    •*Try to check other users' comments and even the developer’s website before downloading an app and be careful what data and services you allow it access to.

    There’s a lot more advice in our Knowledge Centre guide to mobile security.

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    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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