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Malware Hits 16 Million Mobile Devices in 2014

February 17, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

Alcatel-Lucent, a French telecommunications company, has published a report compiled by its Motive Security Labs division that shows that during 2014 there was a 25-percent increase in malware infections, compared to only 20-percent in 2013.  Their infection rate for mobile devices stands at .68-percent and translates to about 16 million devices infected worldwide by malicious software.  The Windows PC platform used to be the place for malicious software to reside, but their studies have shown that the Android mobile platform has finally caught up to the PC world – not exactly the recognition Android was hoping for, but it was bound to happen.

Before smartphones, there was nothing worthwhile stealing off our cell phones, but once they became smart, so did the hackers, realizing that they could track our phone’s location, monitor incoming and outgoing calls, text messages, and emails and even track your web browsing.  We now store our entire personal history on our smartphones – from addresses, phone numbers, contacts, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so much more.  That is the kind of information that hackers want and can make money from knowing that information.  Hackers also go where the volume of users can be found – first it was the Windows PC and now that crown is being passed to the Android mobile devices.

According to Alcatel-Lucent’s report much of the increase in malware is due to the users’ not taking proper precautions – 65-percent of us really expect our app store, service provider or even our devices to keep us safe from malicious attacks.  Google Play Store really tightened up their security and it has helped tremendously, but when users side load apps, this is when malware can slip in undetected.  While many worry about having their credit information stolen when making a purchase online or through their mobile device, their study shows that malware infections are more likely to occur at point-of-sale (POS) terminals…something that is happening almost monthly on the daily news reports.

Their research also found that increases in distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks over the network infrastructure components.  These would include home routers, DSL modems, cable modems, mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, DNS servers, and more.  There are additional signs suggesting that future attacks against the mobile infrastructure are possible.  The mobile malware most on the rise are chargeware – designed to manipulate the user into agreeing to unclear terms for fees and charges and ransomware – designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you have had problems with malware on your mobile device and what you do to prevent such attacks…as always, we would love to hear from you.

Malware in Android and PCs