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Study: 15 Million Devices Infected With Mobile Malware

Sixty percent of the infected devices run Android.

Sara Peters

September 10, 2014

1 Min Read

Fifteen million mobile devices are infected with malware, and most of those run Android, according to a new report by Alcatel-Lucent's Kindsight Security Labs.

Researchers found that "increasingly applications are spying on device owners, stealing their personal information and pirating their data minutes, causing bill shock." Mobile spyware, in particular, is on the rise. Four of the 10 top threats are spyware, including SMSTracker, which allows the attacker to remotely track and monitor all calls, SMS/MMS messages, GPS locations, and browser histories of an Android device.

Mobile infections increased by 17 percent in the first half of 2014, raising the overall infection rate to 0.65 percent.

About sixty percent of the infected devices are Android smartphones. About 40 percent are Windows PCs connecting through mobile networks. Windows Mobile, iPhones, Blackberrys, and Symbian devices combine for less than 1 percent.

The good news for Android users, according to the report, is that "the quality and sophistication of most Android malware is still a long way behind the more mature Windows PC varieties. The command-and-control mechanisms (C&C) are primitive and often don’t work. Configurations are hard coded and inflexible. The malware makes no serious effort to conceal itself, and attack vectors are limited to hoping someone installs the infected app."

About the Author(s)

Sara Peters

Senior Editor

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad of other topics. She authored the 2009 CSI Computer Crime and Security Survey and founded the CSI Working Group on Web Security Research Law -- a collaborative project that investigated the dichotomy between laws regulating software vulnerability disclosure and those regulating Web vulnerability disclosure.


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