A new study from Alcatel-Lucent’s Kindsight Security Labs revealed that mobile malware infections rose 20% last year, with 4G LTE devices most often infected. Generally the malicious software or “malware” used by hackers to gain access to devices continues to rise with consumer ultra-broadband usage. In addition to the posed risks to consumers, the malware is used to commit espionage and launch denial of service attacks on businesses and governments.
“On average, an LTE user consumes twice as much data, including 50% more video, than 3G users. Simply put, LTE devices are more likely to get infected simply because they are more actively surfing the Internet,” said Mark Hudson, director of communications for Alcatel-Lucent’s IP platforms group.
Android devices accounted for 60% percent of total mobile network infections, which frequently took the form of trojanized applications downloaded from third party app stores, Google Play Store or by phishing scams. Forty percent of mobile malware originated from Windows laptops tethered to a phone or connected directly through a mobile USB stick or MIFI hub. Infections on iPhone devices and BlackBerry devices made up less than 1 percent.
Kevin McNamee, security architect and director of Alcatel-Lucent’s Kindsight Security Labs pointed out that criminals traditionally go after low hanging fruit. Not only is Android the largest smartphone market, unlike iPhone and Blackberry, it allows apps to be loaded from third party sites. This provides cybercriminals with an un-policed mechanism to distribute their malware which can easily evade detection by device-based anti-virus. Thus, in 2013 we saw an increased trend towards operators offering network based anti-virus security to subscribers as a service.
The Kindsight Security Labs Q2 2013 Malware Report examines general trends for malware infections in home networks or infections in mobile devices and computers connected through mobile adapters. The data in this report is aggregated across the networks where Kindsight solutions are deployed.
Source: Alcatel-Lucent’s Kindsight Security Labs