Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile

Mobile Malware Up 163 Percent In 2012, Study Says

App repackaging, malicious mobile URLs and "smishing" are top delivery techniques for malicious mobile code

More than 65,000 mobile malware threats were detected in 2012, an increase of 163 percent over 2011, according to a study released this week.

According to a new security report released by NQ Mobile Inc. (PDF), nearly 95 percent of all mobile malware discovered in 2012 targeted the Android OS. The top three methods for delivering malware in 2012 were application repackaging, malicious URLs, and SMiShing.

NQ Mobile estimates that these forms of malware helped infect an estimated 32.8 million Android devices in 2012 -- an increase of more than 200 percent over 2011.

"In the first quarter of 2013, mobile malware threats continued to grow and have become smarter," NQ Mobile says. "In February of this year, a new type of mobile malware was discovered that could jump from an Android device to infect a PC when they were connected via the USB port." Only a few Android devices were infected, the company says.

NQ Mobile Security Labs, a team of more than 250 mobile security professionals around the world who monitor the mobile landscape for new malware threats and mobile hacking methods, has also observed increased collaboration between mobile hackers and cybercriminals, the report says.

"These unlawful collaborations can have disastrous effects on consumers," NQ Mobile states. "Mobile hackers are using malware to capture consumers' private information, and then selling this information to cybercriminals, who are in turn using social engineering tactics to gain access to the consumers' finances."

The top five markets for infected mobile devices were China (25.5 percent), India (19.4 percent), Russia (17.9 percent), the United States (9.8 percent), and Saudi Arabia (9.6%), the study reports.

Sixty-five percent of malware discovered in 2012 falls into a broader category of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs). PUPs include root exploits, spyware, pervasive adware, and Trojans (surveillance hacks).

NQ Mobile estimates that more than 10 million devices have already been infected in the first quarter of 2013.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Logan
50%
50%
Logan,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2013 | 8:41:45 PM
re: Mobile Malware Up 163 Percent In 2012, Study Says
It's obvious that malware is becoming a serious issue for mobile, but I'm not convinced that security software for our phones is the answer. Sometimes common sense is
enough to avoid this garbage. And when it's not, I would hope that app stores and ad networks (two of the biggest spreaders of malware) will have adequate filters in place to prevent infection. Google Play has made some progress on this front just this past year, and so has Android ad network Airpush... http://blog.airpush.com/how-ai...
PJS880
50%
50%
PJS880,
User Rank: Ninja
4/26/2013 | 3:14:45 PM
re: Mobile Malware Up 163 Percent In 2012, Study Says
That is kind of surprising;
with the iPhone being the leading mobile device on the market I would imagine
that they would have the highest statistics for malware. It also makes sense that
China is the number country with the highest percentage of attacks, I imagine
there mobile device per capita is extremely high. These numbers are only going to grow with time
as the mobile device industry explodes at a continual pace.

Paul Sprague

InformationWeek Contributor
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Hacking It as a CISO: Advice for Security Leadership
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-16137
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
** UNSUPPORTED WHEN ASSIGNED ** A privilege escalation issue in Cisco Unified IP Conference Station 7937G 1-4-4-0 through 1-4-5-7 allows attackers to reset the credentials for the SSH administrative console to arbitrary values. Note: We cannot prove this vulnerability exists. Out of an abundance of ...
CVE-2020-16138
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
** UNSUPPORTED WHEN ASSIGNED ** A denial-of-service issue in Cisco Unified IP Conference Station 7937G 1-4-4-0 through 1-4-5-7 allows attackers to remotely disable the device until it is power cycled. Note: We cannot prove this vulnerability exists. Out of an abundance of caution, this CVE is being ...
CVE-2020-16139
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
** UNSUPPORTED WHEN ASSIGNED ** A denial-of-service in Cisco Unified IP Conference Station 7937G 1-4-4-0 through 1-4-5-7 allows attackers restart the device remotely through sending specially crafted packets. Note: We cannot prove this vulnerability exists. Out of an abundance of caution, this CVE i...
CVE-2020-16186
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
A stored Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Firco Continuity 6.2.0.0 allows remote unauthenticated attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML through the username field of the login page.
CVE-2020-8904
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
An arbitrary memory overwrite vulnerability in the trusted memory of Asylo exists in versions prior to 0.6.0. As the ecall_restore function fails to validate the range of the output_len pointer, an attacker can manipulate the tmp_output_len value and write to an arbitrary location in the trusted (en...