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Mobile Malware Risk Is Greater Than Ever

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Report from Kaspersky finds huge explosion in malware targeting smartphones and tablets in last few months

Mobile users have been warned to stay active against an ever increasing barrage of malware attacking their devices.

A report from security experts Kaspersky Lab found that the amount of new malicious programs affecting mobiles rose 10.8 percent in the third quarter of 2015, as mobile banking apps came under particular assault.

Overall, 323,374 malware programs were detected in Q3 2015, a three-fold rise over the amount seen in the first quarter of the year.

Mobile threat

Mobile malware virus security - Shutterstock - Julien TromeurThe report found that there were more than 1.5 million malicious packages installed on mobiles during the quarter, 1.5 times more than in the previous quarter.

Dodgy mobile adverts remained the most popular method of hooking in victims, Kaspersky found, with Trojan attacks that root a device and use superuser privileges accounting for more than half the most popular mobile malware.

Elsewhere, Kaspersky blocked almost 626,000 attempts to launch malware capable of stealing money via access to users’ online banking over the three months of Q3 2015. Although this sounds high, the figure is actually 17.2 percent lower than in the second quarter of the year, yet it is a 5.7 percent increase since Q3 2014.

In total, there were 5.68 million notifications from Kaspersky products about attempted malware infections to steal money from users via online access to bank accounts during the quarter.

“The developments in Q3 demonstrate that the global threat landscape is continuing to evolve at a fast pace”, said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

“Malicious mobile programs are on the rise and in countries where online banking is popular, people are at considerable risk from Trojans looking to target them. With 5.6 million cases of attempted theft from online bank accounts, and cyber-criminals continually developing sophisticated attacks, the use of high quality cybersecurity products has never been more important. It’s vital that all those using the Internet – both individuals and organisations – protect themselves from these growing threats.”

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