Mobile Malware: Coming Soon**

Mobile Malware: Upcoming Threats

The threats such as the Eskimo virus and malware that originally targeted computer platforms have now begun to spread to mobile device platforms, but do we really need to start the necessary precautions? Maybe not. Damballa's security expert Charles Lever said that the threat of mobile malware is exaggerated and overstated.

Lever said at this year's RSA conference that of the more than 150 million mobile phones tracked by him, only 9,688 were exposed to malicious software. Therefore, it can be said that the chance of being thundered is greater than the chance of getting infected with mobile malware.

The reason why mobile devices are infected with malicious software is so low is due to the use and popularity of Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Before putting on the shelves, the app will receive a certain degree of security check in the store. But if you want to download applications outside these sources, you are asking for trouble.

However, representatives of security services such as Avast and Lookout disagree with this claim. They believe that the mobile world is not as safe as Lever thought. Who is right or wrong?

The initial stage of development of mobile malware

The range of mobile malware capabilities has not been widely understood. "This study shows that mobile malware is like Ebola in the United States," Lever said at the conference. "There is indeed harm, but only characteristic behaviors will incur the risk of infection, and the degree of danger is exaggerated. ”

Operator Verizon also expressed similar views in its report released in early April. The report pointed out that although mobile malware is dangerous, it will not trigger large-scale network security incidents.

In addition to malware, mobile devices also face other threats.

"Malware is just one of the threats to mobile security. Many recent reports focus on malware rather than targeted attacks, and the latter is recognized as the most worrying threat," said Aaron Cockerill, vice president of Lookout products.

However, many people also stress that mobile malware is a real threat that users should be wary of. Mechal Salat, a threat intelligence analyst at Avast, believes that we should not weaken the threat of mobile malware. "At the very least, the number of mobile device users is still increasing year by year, and there will always be malware," he said. "This is the same as the PC platform. With the increase in PC sales and software, the number of malware will also increase. Increase accordingly."

Salat also believes that users should stick with the official app store because they are "relatively safe," but they can indeed find malicious software. If you want 100% to ensure that there is no malware, the only way is to enable someone to check applications one by one, but this is impractical.

He also said that Lever's figures are not comprehensive. "The opinions they expressed in the demo were somewhat narrow because they only talked about malware that would communicate with the attackers," Salat said. "There are actually lots of malware that won't contact the attackers. A good example is pay-per-click malware."

There are still threats in the app store

In Avast, Salat and his team have encountered several times that mobile malware has appeared in the Play Store. They found that an advertising software included in the card game Durak could be used to collect data on smart phones by tricking users. According to Google's own statistics, the number of users infected with this malware is approximately 5 to 10 million.

"We found this problem in several different tests conducted at the same time. However, this application has been in the app store for a long time and has infected a large number of users," he said. The example Salat said is clearly on the numbers and Lever's point of view is clearly disjointed.

"I don't want to question the number of 'Lever's. Don't be wrong. They may be real, but their source is a fairly small part of the market," he added.

"The place I really disliked in this report is the final conclusion, which is that you are much more likely to be thunder than malware," Salat said. "The cycle of computing the probability of infection (malware) is only In 1 year, the calculation cycle for the chance of being thundered is a person's life. There is a huge difference between the two."

North America is not a dangerous area

Although the risks faced by U.S. users are not large, regions outside of North America are becoming hotbeds for mobile malware, especially in Eastern Europe and Asia.

"(Internet criminals) are basically variants of Trojans that are common financial services on the PC platform, such as SpyEye and Zeus, but they are being remodeled to run on mobile devices." Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist, Intel Security Said.

Davis said that there are many reasons why other regions are more vulnerable. For example, mobile phones used by users in these areas generally run older operating systems. "I think this is the source of many attacks," he said.

China is another fertile ground for malicious software. Although there are a large number of Android users in China, the Google Play Store is not available in China. Due to the proliferation of third-party app stores, Chinese Android users are at higher risk of malware infection than the United States.

Davis said, but there will be some notable cases this year that will show the way malware is spread on mobile devices. According to Intel Security's predictions, ransomware (threats users to pay money to repair their system) or malicious software will target the attack target more than the PC. "If you look at how malware was made, you'll find this symptom, which makes us a bit nervous," he said. "Malware authors will start writing their software, which is exactly the same as the PC platform."

He also mentioned a research report from a university that stated that about 80% of malware is a derivative of other things.

"They will use what is available on the Dark Web and reuse it to meet their own goals," he said. "We expect that mobile malware authors will start writing software this year and use Free or paid for posting it on Darknet."

How to ensure safety

To get your device away from malicious software attacks, mobile phone users can refer to the following tips. Many of them are actually the same methods used to protect PC devices. Security experts suggest that you should keep the operating system updated and install an excellent anti-virus software. In addition, setting a screen lock password for mobile phones and taking care when using public Wi-Fi are also necessary security measures.

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