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Malicious Android Apps Due To Increase By 400 Percent In 2016

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Webroot’s threat intelligence data identifies Asian countries as a hotbed of malicious IP addresses

Malicious Android apps are due to increase by 400 percent this year as they focus on targeting Asian countries, according to threat intelligence data harvested by Webroot.

The Webroot Quarterly Threat Trends report noted that the dominance of Android devices in Asian geographies means the rise in malware in the region is not unexpected. However, it does indicate that there is somewhat of an epidemic in mobile app malware, especially with Android smartphones.

The report also painted a mixed picture for cyber security threats in 2016. On one hand people are 20 percent less likely to encounter undesirable executable files than in 2015. But on the other, there are now nine million more malicious URLs in 2016, with 42 percent of them originating in the USA, which Webroot said show that geoblocking filters are being circumnavigated by cybercriminals.

This suggests that cyber threats are becoming more clandestine and targeted, wreaking havoc before disappearing while traditional defences try to keep up.

Cyber threats

hacking teamWebroot’s threat data found that nearly half of malicious IP addresses are now associated with China, India or Vietnam, with many fully blown cyber attacks evolving out of spam and scanning activities originating from these IP addresses.

Tyler Moffitt, senior threat research analyst at Webroot, suggested that companies need to adapt to these changing threat vectors if they wish to avoid falling victims to such cyber attacks.

“The report data demonstrates that, while malware encounters may be on a downturn, the business of cybercrime is indeed alive and well,” he said. “As attack timelines accelerate and polymorphism continues to grow and spread across attack vectors, it’s more important than ever for organisations to adopt next-generation security approaches that can adapt and predict malware behaviours as they evolve.”

With the FBI warning businesses to be aware of the rise of ransomware attacks, hackers seizing control of Tesla cars, and Google being forced to pull spyware-riddled apps for its Android Play Store, the vectors and variety of cyber attacks to defend against are increasingly diverse, arguably paving the way for technology companies to come up with the next big innovation which puts cyber criminals and hackers on the back foot.

Quiz: What do you know about cybersecurity in 2016?