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Mobile malware predictions for 2012 do not look good, fraud threats are on the rise

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Mobile malware predictions for 2012 do not look good, fraud threats are on the rise
Lookout Mobile Security is one of those companies dedicated to studying and fighting mobile malware. Its Mobile Threat Network gathers usage data from about 15 million devices worldwide, which is used to better understand how malicious software works.

Unfortunately, Lookout's mobile threat predictions for 2012 do not look good. The company estimates that over a million dollars have been stolen from Android users in 2011 alone, and that even more will end up in the wrong hands over the course of next year. Furthermore, the malware business is expected to rake in more cash than ever in 2012, despite being considered a criminal act.

“2011 was a watershed year in terms of the types threats we saw emerging. Threats had greater sophistication and were deployed using more innovative and efficient distribution methods,” said Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and chief technology officer at Lookout. “In 2012, we expect to see the mobile malware business turn profitable. What took 15 years on the PC platform has only taken the mobile ecosystem two years.” 

Lookout's analysis shows that today, Android users have a 4% chance of encountering mobile malware – a figure that stood at only 1% at the beginning of 2011. Additionally, the report reveals that the chance of an Android user clicking an unsafe link while browsing the web has risen to 36%. Mobile pickpocketing and botnets are also evolving, according to the report. In 2012, mobile malware is expected to keep on stealing money from unsuspecting smartphone owners by sending text messages without their consent, while botnet-like attacks will distribute spam, read the private data of users and pave the way for other malicious software to be installed on a targeted device.

Not too bright of a prediction, don't you think? Well, as long as you do not browse any suspiciously-looking web pages, don't download apps from shady sources, and don't tinker too much with your smartphone's software, you should be fine. Others even believe that mobile malware is just a load of hot air, so there might be little to worry about after all.

source: Lookout via TechCrunch

Mobile malware predictions for 2012 do not look good, fraud threats are on the rise

Mobile malware predictions for 2012 do not look good, fraud threats are on the rise

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posted on 14 Dec 2011, 06:14 4

1. bloodline (Posts: 692; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Surely the browsing link works for any mobile not just android.

I would like to see a detailed report of these findings, sounds more like over hype from look out trying to promote their security.

I have been with android for 4 years not one issue and I download a lot of apps

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 06:30 1

2. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


These is a very detailed report. Surely it's for any mobile but espacially android.

"The company estimates that over a million dollars have been stolen from Android users in 2011 alone" (doesn't look so good for android)

"Android users have a 4% chance of encountering mobile malware – a figure that stood at only 1% at the beginning of 2011" (4% is rather much, I know you say you don't got an issue, that's ok (for now))

The end says nothing really worry about. As long as you do not browse any suspiciously looking web pages, etc.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 06:43 3

3. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Like I always Say They Key Here Is Quite Simple

-Not Going To unknown pages
-Not Opening unknown emails
-Check your apps permission Before you install from unknown sources
-If its "Free" be double careful specially when it usually costs money

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:29 1

16. Dmann (Posts: 165; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


And that is the same caution you must have with any platform.

There is no antivirus that can stop you from giving your info away out of free will.

And that´s how most people usually lose money. A false bank website, or false webstore. Commonly known as phishing.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 06:43

4. bloodline (Posts: 692; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


https://plus.google.com/u/0/114765095157367281222/posts/ZqPvFwdDLPv

/end of argument

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 06:56 1

5. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


I don't know who to believe in this matter. Sure there will always be people who do make profit on an anti-virus that doesn't work.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 06:58

7. robinrisk (unregistered)


can you post what's on the article? Im at work and i cant go into google plus.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 07:03 1

8. bloodline (Posts: 692; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Chris DiBona - head of
Sometimes I read an article about open source that drives me nuts. A recent one stated, without irony, that 'critics have been pounding the table for years about open source being inherently insecure' and that android is festooned with viruses because of that and because we do not exert apple like controls over the app market.

Let me speak to the first one: Open source, which as you know is present in a major way in all three major mobile phone operating systems (android, ios, rim) is software, and software can be insecure. I would posit that popular open source software only gets to become that popular if they pay close attention to security and respond to users concerns about the same, otherwise other projects come to the fore.

For example, in the dusty spans of time, both sendmail and apache went through a year or multiyear period when after they hit 95% and 70% marketshare where the security flaws started becoming a problem on the growing internet.

Sendmail saw multiple oss and proprietary competitors (qmail comes to mind) and over a period of years educated enough sysadmins on how to wrestle sendmail.cf appropriately and fixed problems with the system to stem the loss of marketshare to other vendors and projects.

Similarly, Apache saw people rejecting many of the modules that were perceived to be (And often were) problematic. Some modules didn't come back, some came back stronger or with stronger default options.

So in the spirit of making a positive post here are some facts for future writers of articles about open source, mobile os' and security. A Cheat sheet, if you will:

IOS and Android both use webkit derived browsers, Webkit is coded by android, chromuim and apple developers, and (edited: to fix a sentence here) both use code from the original khtml projects out of KDE.

Both use , at their core, open source kernels (ios uses a bsd derivative, android, a linux one).

Every single CE device uses tons of libraries from open source, especially openssl.

Every single CE device owes a huge technical thank you to GCC. most are built using gcc.

All the major vendors have app markets, and all the major vendors have apps that do bad things, are discovered, and are dropped from the markets.

No major cell phone has a 'virus' problem in the traditional sense that windows and some mac machines have seen. There have been some little things, but they haven't gotten very far due to the user sandboxing models and the nature of the underlying kernels.

No Linux desktop has a real virus problem.

Yes, virus companies are playing on your fears to try to sell you bs protection software for Android, RIM and IOS. They are charlatans and scammers. IF you work for a company selling virus protection for android, rim or IOS you should be ashamed of yourself.

Yes, a virus of the traditional kind is possible, but not probable. The barriers to spreading such a program from phone to phone are large an

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 07:08 1

10. bloodline (Posts: 692; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


large and difficult enough to traverse when you have legitimate access to the phone, but this isn't independence day, a virus that might work on one device won't magically spread to the other. (and yes, I saw the deleted scenehttp://www.cracked.com/article_18720_7-famous-movie-flaws-that-were-explained-in-deleted-scenes.html )

If you read an analyst report about 'viruses' infecting ios, android or rim, you now know that analyst firm is not honest and is staffed with charlatans. There is probably an exception, but extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

If you read a report from a vendor that trys to sell you something based on protecting android, rim or ios from viruses they are also likely as not to be scammers and charlatans.

Please note: Policy engines, and those tools that manage devices from an corporate IT department are not the same thing at all, but sometimes marketers in companies that sell such things sometimes tack on 'virus' protection. That part is a lie, tell your vendor to cut it out.

So there you go. I'm sure people will now chime in about some worm or malware they downloaded from some app market or something, which will be moderately fun, then it will devolve into a discussion about something unrelated, then I'll cancel comments. :-)

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 07:27 1

12. robinrisk (unregistered)


thanks!

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 07:57 1

14. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


appreciate your help

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 07:04 2

9. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


Oh i was about to do the same thing

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 07:11 1

11. bloodline (Posts: 692; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Google need to speak out and set certain matter straight. so much bs ppl believe

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 06:57 2

6. robinrisk (unregistered)


Oh come on! It is a mobile "security" firm. They are scammers. They are only trying to promote their business and there is no way that their opinion will be unbiased.

At least in PC's, anti virus companies usually release viruses into the internet to promote their own product.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 07:44

13. Stuntman (Posts: 733; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


So what fraction of this mobile malware are actually apps that claim to protect you from mobile malware, but is actually malware itself?

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:25 2

15. Dmann (Posts: 165; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


The problem here is how can you trust someone telling you have a problem when this same person is selling you the solution.

There is clearly a conflict of interest.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:53 1

18. Dmann (Posts: 165; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I have to eat some of my own words. Just read on Engadget that Google removed 22 malicious apps, tipped by two security firms.

So even though there is conflict of interest and an antivirus wouldn´t help in this situation, these security firms could and would help on making Android safer.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:37 1

17. Dmann (Posts: 165; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I would trust a hacker that has no interest in selling a solution, but wants to show exploits and flaws.

Then we find out things like this.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/03/hacking-android-windows-phone/

The article basically says that in a hacking competition, Android and Windows Phone 7 couldn´t be hacked and iOS and Blackberry were.

I´m not saying things haven´t changed since March, but the lack of security on Android is apparently over hyped.

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