Blog: Mobile Malware

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With the ever increasing use of mobile devices it was expected that internet criminals would start targeting mobile devices in what is reported to be a billion-dollar criminal industry.

A leading security company has reported that 2018 is expected to be the year of mobile malware.   The report states that during the third quarter of 2017 they detected over 16 million mobile malware infestations.  This is double that detected in 2016.

How is your mobile device attacked?

As with computers there are several ways in which a mobile device can be attacked.  These include ad-click fraud, pay-per-download scams, and banking trojans, which steal your banking information.

Old school mobile attack strategies such as premium text messages and toll fraud are being replaced by botnet ad fraud, pay per download distribution scams, and cryptomining malware.  

Although iOs devices are not immune to these type of malware attacks, these are more prevalent on Google Play, thus making them more of a risk to Android device users.  The number of threat families on Google Play have increased by 30% over the previous years.

Financial Risks

With the ever increasing popularity of mobile banking there was an increase in malicious banking trojans, such as Android/Marcher malware.  These use auto-install vulnerabilities in the Android platform resulting in attacks on millions of Android users, by impersonating legitimate apps.  These apps can cover anything from a media player to system utilities.

Although the expected phishing, both email and SMS, attacks are still present, more sophisticated strategies are being utilised by malware creators.  These include malware that can encrypt files and lock devices, send fake notifications to push users to open their mobile banking app.

More than 100 financial institutions have been reported to have been attacked in this way.

Bitcoin Mining

Another area were malware is being used is to install software that will sue your device to mine bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

How we can help.

Intertek can assist with the prevention of such attacks.  Contact us today for more info.