16 Million Mobile Devices Hit. Malware Infections Up 25 Percent.

Posted March 24, 2015

Latest Study by French Telecom Equipment Company Alcatel-Lucent Shows 2014 Was a Banner Year for Bad Guys.

The Motive Security Labs division of Alcatel-Lucent recently published a report that found mobile device malware infections increased 25 percent compared with a 20 percent increase in 2013. Extrapolated out that comes to 16 million infected devices.

In his piece on zdnet.com, Leon Spencer highlights major findings from the report, officially titled, Motive Security Labs malware report – H2 2014. The following has been excerpted from Spencer’s zdnet.com story and edited to fit our format. You may find the full article by clicking on this link.

Mobile spyware big threat

[Six] of the mobile malware top 20 [types of malware is] spyware…apps that are used to spy on the phone’s owner, and can track a phone’s location, monitor incoming and outgoing calls and text messages, monitor emails, and track a phone user’s web browsing.

Android devices now as popular with cybercriminals as Windows’ devices

[Android] devices have caught up with Windows laptops in terms of malware attack numbers, with infection rates between Android and Windows devices split 50/50.

iPhone and Blackberry not cybercriminals favorite target…yet

Less than 1 percent of infections came from iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. However, new vulnerabilities, such as the “Find My iPhone” exploit discovered last year, have emerged in the past 12 months, showing that Apple is not immune from malware threats.

Owners not responsible

[The] growth in malware infections has been aided by mobile device owners not taking “proper” device security precautions. A recent Motive Security Labs survey found that 65 percent of the security platform subscribers expected their service provider to protect both their mobile and home devices.

Who’d ‘ve “thunk” it?

The report also found that, somewhat counter-intuitively, consumers who avoid shopping online out of fear that their credit or debit card information may be stolen may, in fact, be exposing themselves to greater risk. A spate of retail payment systems security breaches in 2014 showed that malware infections are more likely to be found on cash registers or point-of-sale terminals, rather than on online store payment portals.

Increase in DDoS

[Researchers] found that there was an increase in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks using network infrastructure components such as home routers, DSL modems, cable modems, mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, DNS servers, and NTP servers.

Additionally, the first DDOS attacks launched from mobile phones took place, suggesting how so-called “hacktivism” movements against the mobile infrastructure might be launched in the future….

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