McAfee: Malware Attacks On Mobile Devices Growing Rapidly
With the tremendous rise in the popularity of smart phones, they have also become a prime target for cyber criminals. According to McAfee, the malware attacks on smart phones and other mobile devices connected to internet rose by 46 percent in 2010 to 967 threats, compared to 704 threats that McAfee registered on mobile devices in 2009.
Although the number of threats on mobile devices was relatively small compared to PCs, the rise in percentage terms is showing a clear trend. The rise in mobile security threats has direct correlation with the rise in adoption of smart phones and tablets. According to the report:
As more users access the Internet from an ever-expanding pool of devices — computer, tablet, smartphone or Internet TV — web-based threats will continue to grow in size and sophistication.
A similar correlation exists between the popularity of a mobile platform and the attacks against that platform. One of the most high-profile threats last year was SymbOS/Zitmo.A, a malware that attacked Symbian phones, which are one of the most widely used smart phones.
Adobe products such as PDF and Flash provided the most fertile ground to cyber criminals, as these products are almost omnipresent on all mobile devices thanks to the proliferation of web video and other such services.
One of the main reasons for such an astounding rise in attacks against mobile devices is that people are currently unaware of mobile security threats. Almost everyone knows that one has to install an anti-virus software on his PC, but this is not an accepted norm for mobile users. If the current trend in mobile security threats continues, McAfee expects that mobile security may eventually become as big a market as PC security currently is, which accounts for billions of dollars in investments each year.
A surprising find of the report was the fact that spam has seen a decline in recent times. According to McAfee, Spam accounted for 80 percent of all email traffic in the fourth quarter of 2010, which is its lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. However, there was no reason for rejoice, as the slow down in spam was only a result of several large botnets been taken down. Spammers are currently moving their bots to other servers, so spam activity is expected to rise in the future.（source:socialtimes）