The rise of Mobile Malware

Following the second quarter 2012 report by McAfee Security, one of the key elements to address was following the rise of mobile malware through new Androids. Despite the awareness of cybercrime, McAfee have attempted to resolve issues following drive by downloads, the use of Twitter and the appearance of randomsware. In this quarter, spam is mainly declining minus a few areas such as Japan, Venezuela, Colombia and South Korea but malwares are rising.

The popularity of Androids has taken off, and with that there has also been an increase with popularity regarding mobile malware. Recently, mobile malware is directed mainly towards the Androids. We can see that the total mobile malware samples are still in high figures, but there has been a definite improvement from the previous year of 2011. With 13,000 in 2012, we can see that the second quarter has dropped from 6500 new mobile malwares to 4500. With the new release of the iPhone 5, we are expecting a high number of responses to mobile malware, as new products become an easy target for up and coming viruses.

The introduction of drive-by-downloads means we need to provide full protection for your Android as these viruses increase. Operating in a similar way to the CD software used for computers, the Android/Not Compatible A installs malware once you visit a website. Being a recent target, this intelligent hacking goes a step further by using Twitter. The malware works by searching for commands from specific attacker-controlled Twitter accounts so that all tweets will follow with infected devices. This can be fast spreading as if an individual retweets this numerous times, more people can be targeted. Businesses and consumers are the highest target, as their data is valuable for hackers.

Unique malware samples in our ‘zoo; collection number 1.5 million more this quarter than last, so how many more will we see over the decade? Within these malware samples, we can see writers using digital signatures. This is an attempt to lure users into trusting files, but also to avoid being caught out by security software. It has become apparent that Malware can be written for any software, and that writers are becoming more intelligent at disguising the viruses. It has shown that there is a difference between using a Mac and a PC, as this quarter Fake AV malware for the MAC has declined from 550 in the second quarter of 2011 to 25 in the second quarter of 2012.

Have you been a victim to Mobile Malware? We want to hear your stories and feedback.