Cybercriminals attention have moved from desktop systems to mobile devices.
Ransomware, banking malware, and other cybersecurity threats are targeting smartphones.
The majority of the cybersecurity threats affected Android devices and those downloading mobile applications from unofficial app markets.
People getting apps from Google’s official Play mobile app store were not excluded from being affected by the cybersecurity threats. Researchers found 30,000 more malicious applications published on Google Play in 2017 than it did in 2016.
Apple’s App Store wasn’t cybersecurity threat free, either. Our cybersecurity researchers found many App Store applications infected with adware.
Android is the predominant platform malicious apps, but iOS is starting to be targeted by cybercriminals too.
From our survey about the mobile threat in 2017, we found that 85% of the survey participants faced at least a moderate threat from mobile devices, with 74% saying those risks had increased over the past year and 4 out of 10 see this as high risk.
In 2017, our cybersecurity researchers analyzed and discovered more than 468,830 unique mobile ransomware strains. This number is 415% higher than the number from 2016 according. The most affected countries by such cybersecurity problems like mobile ransomware are China, Indonesia, India, and Japan.
The most notorious mobile ransomware in 2017 was SLocker, an Android file-locking malware that has 424,000 unique samples. There are so many SLocker’s variations because cybercriminals behind it released the malware’s source code publicly.
The good news is that much mobile ransomware is not as sophisticated in capabilities as desktop versions. PC-based ransomware often uses obfuscation techniques that make it harder to detect than mobile versions. Please note that every malware type can be avoided on PC or Mac by implementing a secure cybersecurity solution like an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac. So remember to download mac antivirus or to download windows antivirus to stay fully protected.
But ransomware is not only mobile threat. In 2017, the number of unique mobile banking malware samples increased by 94%, to 108,439.
BankBot, malware has phishing templates for 160 banks, it is equipped with anti-sandbox and anti-signature capabilities and is capable of communicating with C&C servers using Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging services. The cybersecurity problems are far from over, a single BankBot version found in Google Play was downloaded somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 times last year alone.
As in the case of PC or Mac devices, smartphones can also be protected by a cybersecurity solution.