Which science field has the most promising future?

Computer science
Nanotechnology
Biotechnology
Aerospace engineering
Ecology, resource saving
Cleantech
Other

What is the mankind's most dangerous invention?

Atomic bomb
Drugs
Automobile
Money
Television
Fast food
Internet

Juniper: Mobile malware is ‘an increasingly profit-driven business’ as 92% of all known threats target Android

Mobile malware is becoming “an increasingly profit-driven business,” according to Juniper Networks, which today released its third annual Mobile Threats Report. The total amount of mobile malware across all mobile platforms grew 155 percent in 2011, while between March 2012 through March 2013, the figure rocketed 614 percent to 276,259 total malicious apps.

The exact numbers might be shocking at first glance but they aren’t too worrying: they are completely expected given the general trend of moving to mobile. As Juniper rightly points out, this simply indicates that more attackers are shifting at least part of their efforts away from the PC market.

Juniper security researchers also highlighted the following four indicators of a shift in mobile malware “from cottage industry to developed market”:

  • Targeting Markets with Greatest ROI: Criminals are focusing the vast majority of threats on Android and its open ecosystem for apps and developers, a trend that is likely to continue for years to come. In 2010, Android made up 24 percent of all known mobile malware threats, in 2011 the figure increased to 47 percent, and by March 2013, Android was the target of 92 percent of all known threats.
  • Shortened Supply Chains: Juniper identified more than 500 third-party Android application stores hosting mobile malware. These third-party alternatives to official marketplaces often have low levels of accountability, meaning malicious apps are rarely removed. These stores are not limited to Android: several million jailbroken iOS devices rely on them to side load apps. Of these malicious third-party stores, three out of five originate from China and Russia, two emerging markets infamous for malware in the PC space.
  • Multiple Paths to Market: Less sophisticated mobile criminals are exploiting holes in mobile payments to make a quick and easy profit via the likes of SMS Trojan and Fake Installer. According to Juniper, each successful download provides attackers around $10 in immediate profit.
  • Fragmentation: Attackers continue to benefit from the largely fragmented Android ecosystem, leaving users exposed to well-known and documented threats. Google provides protection against SMS threats – which make up 77 percent of Android malware – in its latest OS version, yet only 4 percent of phones have it. Juniper argues this threat could be largely eliminated if OEMs and carriers found a way to regularly update devices.

The first point isn’t too surprising if you remember how significantly dominant Android is in the mobile space. Juniper points to Canalys figures, the latest of which shows Android handsets accounted for 75.6 percent of total smartphone shipments in Q1 2013 with a projection of over 1 billion Android smartphones expected to ship in 2017 alone.

The third point is probably the most important one in remembering that most of these threats are really one and the same. Back in October 2012, McAfee came to a similar conclusion, finding that 60 percent of Android samples the company processes is of the same malware family: a threat that mimics popular apps and sends expensive text messages in the background.

The other two points are a stark reminder that this is a problem that largely doesn’t affect most users in developed markets. If you’re using Google Play exclusively, you won’t see almost all Android malware that is out there. If you’re on the latest version of Android, the most popular ways malware writers try to make money off you simply won’t work.

That being said, Google still has a lot of work to do, especially in the department of getting more people on later versions of Android. Naturally, that’s a job its partners need to help with.

“With mobile malware on the rise and attackers becoming more financially motivated, we need better protection for mobile users and corporations,” Juniper’s Michael Callahan said in a statement. “While on one hand the OEMs, carriers and software vendors must collaborate to develop future platforms that mitigate these large threats, enterprises and government organizations need to take a comprehensive look at protecting their data and networks by adopting a holistic mobile security approach.”

Juniper’s latest report is based on analysis of more than 1.85 million mobile apps and vulnerabilities across major mobile operating systems. 

2013-06-26, The Next Web, Emil Protalinski.


Keywords: mobile, cybersecurity, Android

26.06.2013
Juniper: Mobile malware is ‘an increasingly profit-driven business’ as 92% of all known threats target Android
24.06.2013
Russia's VTB seeks co-investor for Tele2
17.06.2013
Millimeter Waves May Be the Future of 5G Phones
14.06.2013
Google updates Gesture Search for Android with support for over 40 languages and transliteration
11.06.2013
Russian Tech Companies Push US Sales Amid Surveillance Storm
11.06.2013
Yandex releases its Android 3D launcher Yandex.Shell worldwide
04.06.2013
Computex Taipei, Taiwan
29.05.2013
This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds
24.05.2013
Western mobile payment startup SumUp teams up with Svyaznoy to compete in Russian market
21.05.2013
Blavatnik may buy stake in Russian mobile retailer
21.05.2013
Restaurant social app Gvidi wins Best Idea award in Tactrick Android Developer Cup
21.05.2013
Rocket Internet invests $2.5m in “Brazilian Etsy” Airu and announces new mobile partnership
20.05.2013
A Hack-Proof Internet Exists, Thanks to Quantum Physics
17.05.2013
Kaspersky plans push for sales to U.S. government
17.05.2013
Highland Capital, Andreessen Horowitz & Others Put $1.8M Into Aviate, An Intelligent Homescreen For Android

Leave your comment
Sign up
Enter verification codeEnter verification code

Second Moscow International Foreign Investment Forum
Most popular news
Annual Investment Meeting 2013

Welcome to Investment. Innovation. Business Web Portal – a community-driven platform for all the participants of the investment process both in Russia and abroad!

We work to provide online information exchange between Russian and global investors and innovators, business owners and developers.