Mobile malware is on the rise, but there's no need to panic

Lookout seeks to inform users of the dangers facing mobile platforms.

Using data collected from its Mobile Threat Network, Lookout today released a full report on the state of mobile malware and security. The report covers both Android and iOS, and compares the risks that both platforms face. You can view and download the full report on Lookout's blog, but here are a few of the highlights:

An Increase In Android Malware: Android apps infected with malware rose from 80 in January to over 400 in June. Because of this, Android users are two and a half times more likely to encounter an infected application either in the Market or through a third-party source now than they were at the beginning of the year.

New Malware Distribution Techniques: Malware makers are getting even craftier in how they are distributing their infected wares. Malware writers can publish a clean app to the Android Market and wait until the app gets some positive reviews and gains in popularity. After an app has gained a substantial following, an infected update will be released that will turn the app malicious. This is known as an "upgrade attack".

iOS Users Don't Patch Their Devices: Since Apple distributes patches through firmware updates, users have to connect their iPhones to iTunes in order to fix security exploits. But it turns out that as many as 50 percent of iPhone users do not regularly sync their devices with iTunes to receive these critical updates. This won't be as big of a problem with iOS 5 where updates are pushed over the air (provided users upgrade to iOS 5), but until then users are vulnerable.

The full report goes into much more detail about each type of attack and includes many more details than what we covered here. Near the end of the report, Lookout gives a few quick tips on how to stay safe from mobile attacks. When we spoke with Lookout Co-Founder Kevin Mahaffey about the rise of mobile security threats, the best advice he could give on the matter was that people should not panic. He explained that the report wasn't released as a scare tactic, but rather as a way for people to become informed about the risks out there and take the necessary precautions to prevent any sort of security breach or infection.

The more that you know about the threats out there, the better you can keep an eye out for suspicious links or apps. It also doesn't hurt to have some security software installed on your phone, just in case.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags online securitytelecommunicationapplicationsiosPhonesAndroidmobilemalwareAppleconsumer electronicssecuritysmartphonesMobile OSes

More about Appleetwork

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Armando Rodriguez

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts