Feature Article

May 16, 2011

Mobile Malware Increased by 250 Percent in 2010

Mobile malware numbers increased by 250 percent  in 2010, according to the Malicious Mobile Threats report by Juniper Networks’ Global Threat Center.

The center is a renowned organization that conducts ongoing security, vulnerability and malware research tailored specifically to mobile device platforms and technologies.

According to the report, , 61 percent of Juniper Networks-detected mobile malware infections are from spyware, which is the most predominant current threat to RIM Blackberry, Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems. “Spyware is dangerous because it monitors location and all traffic to and from the smartphone. It is very difficult to detect because it doesn’t affect the phone’s functionality. An attack can only be discovered by professional security software,” said Claus Villumsen, expert in mobile security with antivirus company BullGuard, a technology partner of Juniper Networks, in a statement. The Juniper Global Threat Center in its report noted that the greatest malware risk moving forward will be the rapid proliferation of applications through app stores, which are an ideal method for the delivery of malicious software to high volumes of mobile devices.

The study also revealed that numerous applications on the market contained malicious spyware, with Google Android malware samples growing 400 percent from June 2010 to January 2011. With an aim to address the growing threat of mobile malware, BullGuard and Juniper have collaborated to develop a security solution for smartphones.

BullGuard Mobile Security 10 was created based on data from BullGuard’s more than 13 million users worldwide and protects 80 percent of mobile platforms including Android, Symbian, Windows7 and Blackberry.

"Consumers are moving their digital identity onto mobile phones by using them for the same tasks that they have used computers for in the past like online banking, e-mailing and social networks. Many smartphones are now as powerful as and have data storage capabilities similar to laptops, and the alarming growth in mobile malware shows that these phones are vulnerable to the same threats as computers,” said Villumsen. He said that with the debut of BullGuard Mobile Security 10 on the Android Market, Droid users can now benefit from the same expertise that has made BullGuard desktop security products so popular.

Villumsen said that there is no doubt that Android Market is a natural habitat for BullGuard Mobile Security, and will play a significant role in BullGuard’s online strategy. 

”After all, Android Market is currently the second largest smartphone app store, only surpassed by Apple’s App store. We know the demand for smartphone security is quickly rising and as the Android platform is very exposed to security threats, Android Market is an obvious venue for us to offer our Mobile Security application to consumers,” he said.
Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for MobilityTechzone. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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