How mobile malware actually grew by 1400 percent in the last 12 months

happygeek

Mobile phone security threats used to be mocked by everyone outside of vendors with mobile antivirus software to sell. That has changed, and how. The online media headlines have been full to bursting with reports that 'mobile malware' had grown by a staggering 273 percent in the first half of 2011 when compared to the same period for the year before. But can that be true? The answer, it would seem, is no. It's actually much, much worse. Maybe.

The news broke on the back of a report from German-based security software specialists G Data which issued a press release detailing that 273 percent figure. But according to a sharp-eyed reporter for Mobile Europe all is not quite as it seems. While the press release highlighted précis of the report, which is what most news outlets appear to have looked at and used to produce not only their headlines but also the meat of the story, states that mobile malware overall had risen by 273 percent the actual report shows that this figure relates to the share of the overall malware market represented by mobile platforms.

As the Mobile Europe reporter states, taking the sequential half year numbers quoted in the G Data report: "mobile malware has increased around 1,400 percent from 55 to 803 detected threats". So why the 'maybe' in my opening paragraph? Well, simply put, although the 1,400 percent rise figure looks really very scary indeed on paper, out here in the real world of cyber-crime the impact of mobile malware remains fairly low. Taken as a share of the overall malware threat landscape, mobile malware accounts for just 0.1 percent and that's after the 1,400 percent rise!

David Harley, senior research fellow at another security software vendor, ESET, still thinks mobile users should be worried though. "The idea of a single device as a single storage repository has given way to a much more distributed model" he says, concluding "your data reside in the cloud and mobile devices are as much a form of handheld smart terminal as application servers in their own right. Think of your phone as a key to your data-safe, not just as a phone with games and a bit of web browsing, and you'll realise you need to secure both the safe and the key". When the bad guys discover how to monetise the ability to infect those smart-terminals with malware, then I would imagine that 1,400 percent figure will seem on the low side as one thing in this whole mis-reported mess can be read as gospel: cyber-criminals will surely follow the money...

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

Greg_Boyle 0 Newbie Poster

This 1400% figure is actually corroborated by Trend Micro(but its more like 6 months) in their very cool infographic about the rise in Android malware http://blog.trendmicro.com/a-snapshot-of-android-threats-infographic its worth a look.

mp3oke 0 Newbie Poster

nice thread

ahmie88 0 Newbie Poster

Well, because nowadays Mobile is widely used by many. And its just that frauder and spammer is having there opportunities.

Fortinbra 37 Posting Whiz in Training

This is why I only open company mail, which is already filtered and virus scanned upon receipt, and download only trusted apps for my Evo 3D. By trusted apps, I mean ones by which I recognize the publisher, or have done my own research into them.

jingda 135 Industrious Poster Featured Poster

That's why we have mobile anti virus to fight this problem:)

today28 -3 Newbie Poster

IPhone4s is easy to use what

happygeek commented: what indeed, with just a little 'tf' for good measure -3
annika123 0 Newbie Poster Banned

hi friends i want to buy a iPhone but do not have Knowles about iPhone so tell me some models names of iPhone...........

Fortinbra 37 Posting Whiz in Training

iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s

ebuygate 0 Newbie Poster

Software providers must have a review mechanism

Junkor 0 Newbie Poster

What percent they show, I am sure It will includes some percent for promoting anti-malware business .

today28 -3 Newbie Poster
iphone 4S or Android 4.0 smart phone?

I need a smart phone,but which one is better?iphone 4S or Android 4.0 smart phone?

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