Tag: mobile security threat

Mobile security is presenting a growing threat

The latest information released by Trend Micro shows that the landscape is changing due to malware.

The Threat Security Roundup from Trend Micro has just been released and it has suggested that issues regarding mobile security threats are starting to change the trends in the overall protection and digital landscape.

Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way that they target smartphones and tablets.

Though the use of malware as a mobile security threat is nothing new, and it has been increasing for some time now, criminals are making much more complex and sophisticated attacks, says Trend Micro. According to the Trend Micro SA country manager, Gregory Anderson, “Our most recent threat report shows that cyber criminals have absolutely no regard for the privacy of Google Android smartphone and tablet users.”

Anderson pointed out that malicious apps over Android are creating a higher risk mobile security environment.

Mobile Security ThreatsIn fact, he stated that there has been an increase in high risk, malicious apps on that operating system by nearly 30 percent over the last quarter. Anderson explained that “Our Trend analysts tracked 718 000 separate instances of high-risk Android apps in the second quarter, up from 509 000 high-risk apps found in the first three months of this year. Based on these figures, we estimate that the number of high-risk Android applications available on the market will exceed a million by the end of 2013.”

The Android malware that has the greatest sophistication so far, has been nicknamed “obad” malware. It was discovered by Kaspersky Lab, which was also responsible for coming up with that nickname. It was that firm that identified the “master key” vulnerabilities that provide criminals with a way to quickly and easily take advantage of Android system weaknesses.

This problem has been a primary contributor to the skyrocketing increase in mobile security threats, particularly in smartphones and tablets that are Android based. At the very top of the list, according to Trend Micro’s report, is United Arab Emirates, in terms of the highest download volume of malicious apps. This was followed by Myanmar, Vietnam, and Mexico, in that order.

Mobile security threat growing on Google Play

Scamming apps are plaguing users of the official Android application marketplace

Over 1,200 apps that were published onto the Google Play app store have been found to have been designed by “one click fraud” scammers that pose a serious mobile security threat to the Android users who use the applications.

There have been reports of victims being sent tremendous bills with a tiny amount of time in which to pay.

Some of the more common of the latest developments in mobile security scams that have occurred have involved bills of over $3,000 for what was called an annual subscription fee for an online adult video site, for which the users were given three days to pay. The latest scam variation takes more clicks than just one.

Over the last few months, mobile security threats through apps have evolved considerably.

Google Play - Mobile SecurityAccording to Symantec researcher based in Japan, Joji Hamada, “The new type not only requires clicks, but it also requires users to send an email in order to register to become a member of a service, call a given phone number to acquire a password, and enter the password to log into the fraudulent site.” Hamada added that “That’s quite a bit of work to get through just to be scammed.”

However, the users that do successfully complete the process are slammed with these tremendous bills and short periods of time in which to pay. The scammers lure people to these apps featuring mobile security threats by doing what Hamada called “abusing the search function on Google Play,” which helps to make sure that those applications remain at the head of the search results.

He explained that Symantec carried out a test on the top 24 hits for a search at Google Play and found that out of that number 21 had some form of malicious mobile security threat connected to it.

According to a research report from a team at the Information Networking Institute from Carnegie Mellon University, the people who fall victim to one click scams don’t legally owe the money for which they have been billed, but they often pay it anyway because they are too ashamed to admit that they clicked on the link, which is usually for pornographic material.