September 23, 2014
Alcatel-Lucent today released new data showing that threats to mobile devices and desktops increased significantly during the first half of 2014, putting mobile device owners at greater risk of being spied on, having their personal information stolen. , or experience exorbitant bills as a result of using hacked data.
Figures for the first half of 2014 from Alcatel-Lucent’s Kindsight Security Labs reveal that malicious software or “malware” used by hackers to gain access to devices continues to increase with the use of ultra-broadband. Their report found that mobile malware infections increased 17% during the first half of 2014, growing at almost double the rate seen for the entirety of 2013. Similarly, infections on fixed networks jumped to 18% at the end of June, after being 9% in December 2013.
Due to Alcatel-Lucent’s unique position in the networking industry, the company is able to measure the impact of the types of traffic traversing the network, including malicious and cybersecurity threats.
The mobile infection rate was 0.65% during the first half of 2014, compared to 0.55% at the end of 2013. Based on this, Security Labs Kindsight estimates that 15 million mobile devices are infected with malware, compared to 11.3 million at the end of 2013. Android devices accounted for 60% of total mobile network infections. 40% of mobile malware originated from Windows laptops connected to a phone or directly connected via a USB stick or MIFI mobile hub. Infections on BlackBerry devices and iPhone devices accounted for less than 1%.
“Android smartphones are the easiest target for malware, but Windows laptops remain a favorite among professional cybercriminals,” said Kevin McNamee, Security Architect and Director of Kindsight Security Labs at Alcatel-Lucent. “The quality and sophistication of most Android malware still lags behind the Windows PC varieties. Android malware makes no serious effort to hide itself and relies on unsuspecting people to install an infected application. “
Mobile network infections often take the form of Trojan apps that look good on the surface but contain hidden malware, which when downloaded by Android owners from third-party app stores, Google Play ™ Store, or by phishing scams, they can steal personal information from a phone or send SMS messages and surf the web.
The 2014 increase in infection rates on desktop computers is primarily attributed to a significant level of adware threat. This is posed as a nuisance for device owners as they get unwanted advertisements. However, high-level malware threats that can do serious damage by stealing personal information, passwords, and credit card information also saw an increase. 7% of broadband customers were infected with high-level threats: from 5% at the end of 2013.
The Kindsight Security Labs report includes the top 20 malware threats in the first half of 2014, as well as analysis of the evolution of malware, including ZeroAccess, iBryte, Carberp, Uapush, Coogos, NotCompatible, SMS Tracker and others. High-level malware threats make up 85% of the threats that are in the Top 20 of the Android List, where four cases are mobile spyware used by an attacker to remotely track and monitor the history of locations, communications and a device owner’s browser. Five of the seven new malware entries in the Top 20 are “adware” that can redirect the victim’s browser to unwanted websites and create unwanted pop-up ads.
“The best defense against infection is network-based malware detection,” adds McNamee. “People often fail to take proper security measures for their devices, and even when a malicious application does, it can easily evade detection by device-based antivirus. In contrast, network-based antivirus that is integrated into an operator’s network cannot be disabled by cyber criminals to date ”.
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